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CUPE is taking part in the 67th Canadian Library Association Conference and Trade Show, to promote the work of its members in the sector. The event will be held this week, from May 30 to June 2, at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

CUPE will have a booth at the trade show, which features publishers, professional services, information technology, and government services to the library community.

CUPE library workers are 22,000 strong, representing 62 per cent of all library workers in Canada. They are in all provinces, represented by 411 bargaining units, and work in public and municipal libraries, as well as libraries in primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals. They serve communities as librarians, library assistants, library technicians, shelvers, and library clerks.

CUPE’s priorities in the libraries sector:

  • Keep library services in public hands to avoid cuts to services and the loss of experienced staff.
  • Invest in delivering high-quality, non-profit public library services.
  • Protect libraries by preventing contracting out of important tasks (orders, processing, cataloguing, technical services).
  • Support a model of excellence based on dedicated, qualified, and experienced workers who are up-to-date on new technologies.
  • Uphold the central role of Canada’s libraries as social and cultural hubs for communities.
  • Influence governments and administrations to remind them of the importance of proper funding for libraries.
  • Ensure library services meet the special needs of children, seniors, and people with disabilities.
  • Ensure that library staff – approximately 85 per cent of whom are women – receive fair wages and equal pay for equal work, and can work free from any form of harassment.
  • Ensure workforce stability and renewal through fair wages and benefits (nearly a quarter of library employees will retire by 2014).