BCLTA Mandate and Messages

BC Public Library Partners with Minister Fleming, May 10th, 2019
(L-R) Mike Gagel, BCLTA, Sharon Herbert, BC Libraries Cooperative, Chris Middlemas, BC Library Association, Annette DeFaveri, BC Library Association, Elizabeth Tracy, Association of BC Public Library Directors, Minister Fleming, Shirley Lew, BC Library Association, Kevin Millsip, BC Libraries Cooperative, and Scott Hargrove, Association of BC Public Library Directors. 

BCLTA Mandate for Advocacy

BCLTA has the unique mandate of representing BC public library boards and amplifying the voices of the trustees who set the strategic direction and govern public libraries across the province.

BCLTA has made a priority of provincial advocacy work with the BC Public Library Partners. As well we build opportunities to represent our membership and work with the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA), the BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA) and other organizations and individuals. Working with others, we are able to share our expertise and skills, build our collective capacity and impact, and influence decision makers.

Much has shifted in recent years about how and why we do advocacy at BCLTA. It is less about increasing library use and more about increasing sustainable and reliable library support.

Indeed, advocacy isn’t about “getting the message out”, but instead about aligning our messages with the priorities of decision-makers and influencers, on a solid foundation of relationships of credibility and trust. The bottom line is clear and instructive: no relationship, no advocacy.

Wendy Newman, “Libraries don’t need more advocacy, they need better advocacy”, March 4, 2015

 Key Provincial Advocacy Messages

Collaborating with the BC Public Library Partners, the BCLTA advocates on behalf of BC public library trustees.  The following are the key high-level messages that the Partners take to provincial meetings.

Please see the BCLTA Provincial Funding page for information on specific budget campaigns, including key messages for the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services  public consultations on the 2022 provincial budget being held in August and September of 2021. 

  1. For library grant levels to be restored along with an increase for inflation to account for the lack of funding increases since 2010. 

  2. For reliable and sustainable annual increases to library funding.

  3. For the Minister to champion the unique role that public libraries play in their communities to other Ministries and for the Minister to facilitate inter-ministerial conversations to support the work of public libraries. Specifically, the Partners are asking for cross-ministry work on addressing connectivity as adequate broadband is still a challenge, particularly in rural or remote locations and most libraries are faced with both rising costs and rising demand for this service. 

BCLTA will continue to raise the need for the government to work with BC First Nations to support what First Nation commuities identify as their need for public library services. 

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 has been developed to support members with their local advocacy work. 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.  More about the framework and other advocacy resources can be found on the Advocacy Resource page. 

BCLTA Communications

2021 Provincial Budget Consultations: Letter Template (May 28, 2020)

Budget 2021 Consultation Process (May 6, 2020)

BC Public Library Partners: Spring 2020 Advocacy Update (May 1, 2020)

BC Public Library Partners Response to the Provincial Funding Announcement (April 8, 2020)

BC Public Library Partners: Response to the 2020 Provincial Budget (February 25, 2020)

BC Public Library Partners October 31, 2019 letter to Minister Fleming regarding October 25th, 2019 meeting and request for restoration of funding for public library Operating Grants.

BC Public Library Partners October 25, 2019 letter to Minister Fleming regarding Public Libraries and the 2020 Provincial Budget.

BCLTA October 16, 2019 letters to the federal party leaders, J. Trudeau (Liberal), J. Singh (NDP), A. Scheer (Conservative), and E. May (Green).

BC Public Library Partners October 9, 2019 letter to Mayor Tait regarding her support of the $20 Million in 2020 campaign and her appointment as President of the Union of BC Municipalities.

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.