November 05, 2010
Benoit supports MP tweed’s private members Bill C-509
The Library Book Rate, under its current form, is a discounted postage rate offered by Canada Post to libraries for shipping books. Through interlibrary loans, local branches are able to offer a much larger collection of materials to local library users. Bill C-509 will for the first time legislate the Library Book Rate and expand it to include other library materials in addition to books.
“I am pleased to welcome my colleague Merv Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, to the Lloydminster Public Library today to speak about his Private Members Bill” said Benoit. “I have been a long time advocate of expanding the library book rate to include audio and visual library materials, and am proud to support Bill C-509.”
“Over 2,000 libraries actively use the Library Book Rate and an estimated one million Canadians benefit from it annually,” added Benoit. “It is clear that many Canadians will benefit from an expanded Library Book Rate.”
“Libraries are a cornerstone for public information, literacy and early childhood activities across the country,” said Tweed. “Improving the literacy and essential skills of Canadians is a key part of our Government’s commitment to building a highly skilled, adaptable, and competitive workforce. I am proud Bill C-509 will continue to sustain these opportunities for Canadians.”
Approximately 65% of volumes mailed under the Library Book Rate are destined for libraries and library users in small towns and rural locations, thereby allowing Canadians to access the collections held in libraries across the country.
Library Book Rate – Backgrounder
What is the Library Book Rate?
-The Library Book Rate is a highly discounted postal rate offered by Canada Post. This discounted rate has existed since 1939. It is used by libraries to reduce the cost of offering inter-library loans and helps to provide equal access to printed library books for all Canadian readers regardless of their location whether they live in a rural, remote or urban area of Canada.
What is the purpose of the Bill?
-This Bill seeks to enshrine not only the Library Book Rate in the Canada Post Corporation Act, but it also seeks to enshrine a wider definition of library materials including new media materials beyond books.
How many libraries does it help?
-Over 2,000 libraries actively use the Library Book Rate and an estimated one million Canadians benefit from it annually. Approximately 65% of volumes mailed under the Library Book Rate are destined for libraries and library users in small towns, rural locations, and remote communities, thereby allowing these users to access the collections held in libraries across the country.
How many books are shipped?
-In 2009, Canada Post handled 713,000 shipments of books under the Library Book Rate. (Source: Canada Post 2009 Annual Report)
-Each shipment may include one or more library books. (Source: Canadian Library Association’s submission to the Review Panel on the Canada Post Corporation)
How many products we expect to ship with the changes?
-Neither Canada Post nor the Canadian Library Association was able to estimate how many products might be shipped if the Library Book Rate was expanded, as Bill C-509 proposes, to include materials such as audio- and videocassettes and DVDs.
How much has it cost in the past?
-Canada Post has reported that if it charged commercial rates rather than the reduced Library Book Rate, in 2009, it would have earned an estimated $6 million more than the $772,000 it collected from libraries under existing rate. (Source: Canada Post 2009 Annual Report)