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OTTAWA – As Ottawa city councillors prepare to decide today whether a new main library branch should be part of council’s priorities for the 2015-18 term, Local 503 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) – which represents Ottawa municipal and library employees – has distributed a lobby kit to all Ottawa council members.

Through the kit materials, the union hopes to encourage councillors to consider all options when making decisions about a new central library, particularly around issues of public consultation, location and financing.

“We support good libraries and good library services,” said CUPE 503 President Brian Madden.

“Our union has some concerns about the future of a new central library and we recognize that other members of the community also share these concerns.

“We have provided this kit to Ottawa city councillors to ensure that they can consider all the options when they make their decisions about the future of Ottawa’s central library.”

The lobby kit offers alternatives for consultation, financing and implementation process for a new main library; it is available at ourlibrarymatters.ca.

CUPE 503’s recommendations to councillors are:

  1. Delay the planned RFI process (Request for Expressions of Interest) until after the real public consultations, including a survey of existing main branch users.
  2. Use a more comprehensive weighting and scoring process to assess potential locations.
  3. Include a public financing option for building a new main library for the consideration of City Council.

“Now is the time to ask fundamental questions about the future of Ottawa’s new main library,” concluded Madden. “Libraries are part of building vibrant and inclusive communities that we can all be a part of.”

For more information, please contact:

Susan Arab
CUPE National Representative

Mary Unan
CUPE Communications
905-739-3999 ext. 240