BCLTA Advocacy In Action

Photo of Minister Fleming with Mike Gagel
Minister Fleming with Prince George Public Library Trustee and BCLTA Director Mike Gagel. October 2017. 

BCLTA Key Messages

Below are the BCLTA key advocacy messages that we encourage our members and community supporters to use when calling for the advancement of equitable and accessible public library services across the province.

These messages were created by the BC Public Library Partners and guide our shared advocacy work. The BC Public Library Partners are BCLTA, the BC Library Association, the Association of BC Public Library Directors, and the BC Libraries Cooperative.

Please use these messages in your advocacy work and contact the BCLTA ED with any questions or comments at execdir@bclta.ca.

1. Provincial Funding

Provincial funding that, at a minimum, includes annual increases to account for inflation. While libraries appreciate the stability of grant funding that government has provided since 2010 (approximately $14 million per year), the lack of regular increases means that each year libraries receive less and less support, due to inflationary pressures. After many years of this, libraries are falling behind in their ability to meet growing needs. As well, we advocate for the reinstatement of the Budget Line Item for B.C. public libraries.

2. Public Library Services in First Nation Communities

The establishment of provincial resources and funding to support and work with First Nation communities on defining, developing, and delivering public library services in First Nation communities, by First Nation communities, is required. Many of these communities have few to no library services, and this gap inhibits certain opportunities for learning, discovery and creativity that are available to other British Columbians.

3. Connectivity

Government commitment to connectivity is needed. Connectivity is critical in the digital age, yet adequate broadband is always in short supply and/or cost-prohibitive, particularly in rural or remote locations. Most libraries are faced with both rising costs and rising demand.

Additionally, BCLTA advocates for provincial support for public library boards.

Adequate provincial government funding and support for strong, effective, and equitable public library board development throughout the province is needed. Provincial funding and resources for trustee orientation and board learning and development is in alignment with the Ministry’s responsibility for the successful oversight of the legislative and governance framework for public libraries and for the upholding of the Library Act. Strong effective public library boards are critically important for strong effective public libraries.

BCLTA Trustee Advocacy and Influence Framework

The BCLTA Trustee Advocacy and Influence Framework is an update to the 2015 BCLTA Advocacy Toolkit. We kept what worked and expanded the information and suggestions to encompass the idea that some of the most important work you do as trustees is influencing and supporting other community leaders to champion the value of the public library.

BCLTA will be developing advocacy materials (for example posters, social media, advocacy tips flashcards) with our library partners to support advocacy efforts in 2018 and in particular for the 2018 municipal elections.

BCLTA Communications

BCLTA September 21, 2018, submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

BCLTA March 28, 2018, letter, in partnership with BCLA, ABCPLD and BCLC, to Minister Fleming regarding the Provincial Government Response to the Union of BC Municipalities Resolution B60

BCLTA October 31, 2017 contribution to B.C. Human Rights Commission online discussion “Building Awareness”.

BCLTA October 11, 2017 response to Union of BC Municipalities Resolutions B60 and C4.

BCLTA October 11, 2017 submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

BCLTA April 18, 2017 letter to the Minister of Education, Government of Saskatchewan.

BCLTA January 24, 2017 submission to the Rural Education Strategy and Community Engagement Request

BCLTA October 7, 2016 submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

BCLTA May 2, 2016 letter to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

BCLTA Advocacy Tools and Templates

Buttons! At the 2016 UBCM conference these buttons,designed by Greater Victoria Public Library,were very popular and spread a positive message about the value of libraries. Button template.

Social media cards. Take a photo and post it to your social media sites. If on twitter @bclta so we can RT. Suggested hashtags include #trustees #libraries #bcpoli #localgov.  And don’t forget to @yourlibrary and local candidates.

I’m Creative … so is my Library!

I’m Making a Difference … so is my Library!

I’m Community Minded … so is my Library!

B.C. public library letter to Minister Fleming from Library Director and Library Board Chair. Template letter here

Public library board letter to a Minister or MLA regarding the 2017 budget. Template letter here.