The following letter was sent in advance of last week's motion to the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association (OLITA) Board chair. While we understand the motion was carried, we still sincerely hope to meet with the OLITA and OLA Boards to discuss our mutual interests--Canadian books, readers, writers, learners--as soon as possible and eagerly await a response from their Board.
January 28, 2013
Ontario Library and Information Technology Association
Dear Mr. Ruest
I write today regarding your recent board resolution that "stands opposed to the Access Copyright license agreements."
As the Access Copyright Board of Directors, we represent writers and publishers from right across the country. Our members and yours, have much more in common than you may think, including membership in both organizations. The works of our members are frequently those needed for College and University level courses, and include written and visual materials that can be accessed digitally.
We know that the tremendous change in technology, education and the way information is used and accessed has affected your work and your members too. We also know that youstand behindCanadian writing, and our alignment with school curriculum, and post secondary courses. We help to bring relevance to our classrooms. You understand that Canadian creators are, after all, theonly oneswho produce work that is about us-our country, provinces and communities. Canadian writers and publishers bring to life stories for our children, students and book clubs. They write and publish the course materials to build Canadian-focussed curriculum in our colleges and universities. They give us the novels, biographies, histories, poems and journalism borrowed from our libraries. Writers and publishers are an essential channel from which our national identity is cast.
Assuming librarians and creators see a collective future that includes relevant, innovative Canadian-made reading material lining library shelves (real and virtual), both our sectors need to be strong and healthy. We have so much in common. The digital transformation underway should not divide us. It should be a shared journey. The interconnected work we do as teachers, creators and librarians is more important than ever-Canadian readers need us to have an open and honest conversation. Nurturing the development of Canadian content today, means access to it in the future.
We would very much like to begin a dialogue. We know you have strong opinions, as do we. But there's a lot at stake -for us all. Would you receive a delegation of our board members to an OLA / OLITA upcoming board meeting? We look forward to hearing from you.
Nancy Gerrish, Co-Chair
(Publishers), Access Copyright
James Romanow, Co-Chair (Creators), Access Copyright