Home 5 Priorities 5 Advocacy


Advocacy is fundamental to BCLA’s role in the library community and in society. Through advocacy the Association strives to speak for a cause or recommend a course of action. Advocacy includes media campaigns, public speaking, sharing or conducting research, creating position papers, and writing letters. BCLA is committed to initiating and and supporting dialogue with the library and broader community to discuss emerging issues and to advance the values and core principles of libraries; as part of this commitment, BCLA engages with both federal and provincial governments on issues that are relevant to libraries.


Update on Provincial Funding for Public Libraries

The BC Public Library Partners are pleased to provide you all a quick update coming out of today’s Provincial budget and a subsequent phone call that the Partners had with Minister Kang this afternoon. As you may have already heard, the budget included new funding for the public library sector.

Details are forthcoming. As of the afternoon, we know that public libraries will receive $45 million in additional one-time funding from the surplus, to be spent over 3 years.

Read more from the Finance Minister’s Speech

Thank you to library directors, trustees, staff, patrons, and all others who have worked so tirelessly to advocate for BC public libraries.


$8 Million in One-Time Provincial Funding for BC Public Libraries

One of BCLA’s priorities is to advocate for public libraries with the BC Government, and we do that by working with ABCPLD, BCLTA, and the BC Libraries Coop as the BC Public Library Partners. On behalf of the BCLA Board and the BCPLP, I’m so pleased to share the following announcement…

In response to BC Public Library Partners’ (BCPLP) continued advocacy efforts, the BC Provincial Government, through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, has provided an investment of $8 million to public libraries in order to support Covid recovery and relief efforts.

Find out more about the $8 million in one-time public library funding

BC Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services Recommends Increased Annual Funding for Public Libraries

Part of BCLA’s mission is to advocate for libraries and library workers, and your membership makes it possible for us to do this work. The BC Public Library Partners (made up of representatives from BCLA, BC Libraries Coop, BCLTA, and ABCPLD) presented to the BC Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services on June 7, asking the province to permanently increase annual funding for public libraries to $23 million in 2023, and commit to inflationary adjustments every year.

Find out about the recommendation made by the the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services

BCLA Letters to Government Advocating for Effective Solutions to Hate and Discrimination

At the 2020 AGM, BCLA passed a resolution titled Campaign for political action to combat discrimination and hate directed at equity-seeking groups.

As proposed in the resolution, BCLA has sent letters to federal and provincial politicians making it clear that library staff and users from equity-seeking groups encounter hate and discrimination in libraries and requesting both levels of government to undertake further research and consultation to identify effective measures to build a more inclusive society, both online and in our public spaces.

Find out more about the letters sent to provincial and federal government officials


British Columbia Library Association Submission to the Government of British Columbia Consultation on the Draft Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy

BCLA put forward a Submission to the Government of British Columbia Consultation on the provincial draft Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.

BCLA would like to thank Helen Brown and Lisa Nathan, Co-Chairs of the newly formed BCLA Climate Action Committee,  for their work on this submission.

Read the BCLA Submission to the BC Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy Consultation

British Columbia Library Association Submission to the Government of Canada Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for Online Intermediaries

BCLA put forward a Submission to the Government of Canada Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for Online Intermediaries.

BCLA would like to thank Donald Taylor for his work on this submission and further acknowledge the unparalleled work done by the CFLA Copyright Committee on this matter.

Read the BCLA Submission-Framework for Online Intermediaries


BC Public Library Partners Response to the 2020 Provincial Budget

Dear BCLA members and list subscribers,

On February 18th, Minister Carole James delivered the 2020 Provincial budget.

By all accounts, it is a “safe budget” as there were no major surprises and few increased funding commitments beyond items previously signalled by the Province. Increased funding was announced for K-12, health care as well as a number of capital projects. Public libraries are not receiving any less funding in the upcoming budget…

Read more about the impact on BC Libraries.

Message from The BC Public Library Partners

BCLA is pleased to be a member of the BC Public Library Partners and thanks the BC Library Trustees Association, the BC Libraries Cooperative and the Association of BC Public Library Directors for working together to create a collaborative and collective approach for public library advocacy. Read the Spring 2020 Advocacy Update.

Speak Up for Public Libraries

Dear BCLA Members,

BCLA invites you to come together to encourage government to increase funding for public libraries.  There hasn’t been an increase in core public library funding since 2010, and while one-time funding opportunities are extremely important and helpful, it is core funding that helps public libraries plan for the future and provide ongoing services and staffing levels their communities count on.

One simple way to raise our voices in support of public libraries is tosubmit a letter to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

Report from the Select Standing Committee on Finance

Thank you to all those who prepared and delivered a letter to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services this past June. Your letters, urging additional support for public libraries, helped shape the content of the Committee’s report to government. Thank you as well to the BC Public Library Partners for designing the letter writing campaign and for presenting “in-person” reports to the Committee.

Read more about the Select Standing Committee’s report.

Message for the Provincial Election

The recently called Provincial Election is an opportunity for all of us to speak out about the challenges we face everyday in libraries, and especially now as we grapple with the effects of a pandemic. Below is the message from the BC Public Library Partners sent to BC’s political parties. Please feel free to use any part of the message to help us lobby political parties for better library representation in government and for better provincial support.

See the Platform Submission from the BC Public Library Partners – October 2020


$20M in 2020: Public Library Funding

Provincial funding for public libraries in British Columbia has not increased for the past decade. In preparation for the BC Government’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services Consultations for the Budget 2020, the BC Public Library Partners have prepared information to support any of you who are  interested in sending a letter to the Select Standing Committee asking that the government increase funding for public libraries in the next budget.

Find out more about the campaign to increase library funding in 2020

Help Us Increase Provincial Library Funding for Public Libraries!

As part of the $20M in 2020 campaign the BC Public Library Partners want to demonstrate the many ways that BC public libraries support government, specifically the provincial poverty reduction strategy. (Read the strategy).

We’re asking for you to send us examples of how your library supports poverty reduction in your community. This could be about programs, services, use of space, whatever comes to mind. Read more about why and how to submit your stories.



Debut: “BC Public Libraries 2020”

The BC Library Association (BCLA), the Association of BC Public Library Directors (ABCPLD), the BC Library Trustees Association (BCLTA), and the BC Libraries Cooperative, collectively the BC Public Library Partners, are proud to announce the debut of “BC Public Libraries 2020”, a short film supporting the “$20 million in 2020” advocacy campaign for the restoration of provincial library funding…

Read more and enjoy this celebration of library service, and support public libraries in restoring the funding we need to keep our libraries vibrant, inclusive and strong.

A Celebration of BC Libraries

To commemorate Canadian Library Month the BC Library Association is releasing a slide show of BC libraries. The slide show, A Celebration of BC Libraries, is a compilation of photographs submitted to the Association by libraries across the province. The slideshow is meant to showcase the multiplicity of our libraries, our unique locations and our connections to communities. Thank you to all the libraries that contributed to this project! Please use the slideshow in any way that helps promote libraries in your community.

Watch A Celebration of BC Libraries

BCLA letter to Minister Fleming

The BCLA Board has sent a letter to Minister Fleming articulating the achievements of BC libraries through the BC Summer Reading Club and asking that Ministers and MLAs reference such achievements when speaking of the value of public libraries in BC communities.

Read the letter to Minister Fleming October 23 2019


BCLA Endorsement: ALA’s Defense of Library Core Values

BCLA joins our American and Canadian colleagues to support the values which create welcoming, inclusive communities. A just society is based on freedom of expression and the respect and dignity of every individual. Read the Statement. We support and endorse ALA’s defense of library core values, in unity with CFLA/FCAB.
Daphne Wood
President, BCLA

Rob Fleming, new BC Minister of Education, meets with BCLA

BCLA was pleased to welcome Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, to the BCLA offices late last week. Minister Fleming met with Past President Daphne Wood and Executive Director Annette DeFaveri for 45 minutes (unfortunately President Anne Olsen was out of the province). Minister Fleming was keenly interested in the Association and in province-wide issues that affect all aspects of the library community.

Read more about this very positive and frank meeting.


Letter to Newfoundland Government about Public Library Cuts

The BCLA Board met this morning and had an opportunity to discuss the cuts to public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador. The decision was made to send a letter to the Newfoundland and Labrador government, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Read more about advocacy to combat cuts to public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador

ED Update: Bill C-51

Many of you are interested in the issues and discussions around Bill C-51 and the proposed changes being considered, or not being considered. Read more on the many concerns about C-51.

Read about the tool Open Media has developed to collect and send individual views on Public Safety Canada’s consultation. 



BCLA Letter to Prime Minister Regarding Resignation of Chief Statistician of Canada

BCLA wrote a letter to Prime Minster Justin Trudeau to express concerns regarding the resignation of the Chief Statistician of Canada, Wayne R. Smith, and the reasons he articulated for his resignation.

Read BCLA’s letter to the Prime Minister

BCLA’s Submission to the Select Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

BCLA put forward a response to the National Security Green Paper “Our Security, Our Rights – 2016” expressing concerns and objecting in the strongest possible way to the erosion of the rights and freedoms of all Canadians.

Read the BCLA Submission to the Select Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

ED Update: Open Letter on National Security Consultations

BCLA has added its name and support to the “Open letter from civil society organizations: Commit to transparency in your National Security consultation” put together by the OpenMedia folks. The open letter goes to Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Jodi Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada…  Read the Open letter as well as the letter previously sent by BCLA.


BCLA Letter on Bill C-51

On Feb. 26, BCLA sent a letter  to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security detailing some of the important issues arising from Bill C-51. Thank you to Allison Trumble, Chair of the IPC, the IPC membership, and members of the BCLA Board for crafting an important statement and letter.

ED Update: Letter to James Moore

Here is the letter that BCLA has signed concerning abuse of the “Notice and Notice” provisions of the Copyright Modernization Act with respect to Intermediary liability. BCLA joins individuals and organizations such as Michael Geist, BCFIPA, CCLA and OpenMedia as a signatory. Time to sign the letter has been extended so additional organizations than those on this copy of the letter should be expected. If you know an organization that wants to sign the letter they can get in touch with Meghan Sali at Open Media.

ED Update: Law Union of Ontario Statement on C-51

BCLA has joined the growing number of individuals and associations adding their names to the Law Union of Ontario Statement on Bill C-51.  Read the statement.


Letter from BCLA to Library and Archives Canada

BCLA is asking LAC for assurances about access to the Canadian Union Catalogue. You can read the letter from BCLA to LAC, as well as LAC’s response to BCLA.

Thanks to Linda Woodcock, Penny Swanson, Janette McConville & the BCLA Board Executive for support in identifying the issue and providing direction and content for the letter.

BCLA Presence at UBCM

It is BCLA’s pleasure to join with the Association of BC Public Library Directors, the BC Libraries Cooperative, and the BC Library Trustees Association to meet with Education Minister Peter Fassbender at this year’s Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conference in Whistler, BC. Our hope is to talk with the Minister about the many ways libraries support their communities. We hope to deliver a positive, future-focused message that underlines the need for ongoing and increased funding for work done by libraries. We are providing delegates at UBCM with a handout featuring statistics and information about libraries as the heart of our communities.

Response from National Defence