The Coalition in the News & Other Relevant Articles

PRESS RELEASE - Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) Toronto, February 26, 2008

Ministers of Education Initiate National Dialogue

Ministers of Education from across Canada met in Toronto and agreed to new initiatives to promote and enhance their key priorities: Aboriginal education, literacy, and postsecondary education capacity.

Aboriginal Education

Ministers believe that eliminating the education gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples is an economic and moral necessity. To that end, ministers will host a summit in 2009 on improving Aboriginal achievement rates. “We are committed to ensuring that all people have access to quality education. In a global economy, we need every Canadian achieving his or her full potential,” stated the Honourable Kelly Lamrock, Chair of CMEC, and Minister of Education for New Brunswick. The event will bring together Aboriginal education stakeholders to explore ways of improving the educational success of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. Ministers are committed to partnering with Aboriginal peoples to support their life-long learning. Ministers met with Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Métis Federation and Vice-President of the Métis National Council and the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg to discuss the recent Aboriginal University Education Roundtable.

Literacy – More Than Words

Ministers declare that every Canadian must have the opportunity to acquire the highest quality literacy skills to sustain them throughout life. Ministers furthered plans for Literacy – More Than Words, a national forum on improving Canada’s literacy rates. The forum will be held simultaneously in cities across Canada on April 14-15, 2008, and will take advantage of the latest technology to create a virtual community, where all participants will be able to listen to and interact with keynote speakers in real time. A first for Canada, the Forum’s unique structure and format will ensure that literacy becomes a national conversation. A number of high profile Canadians, including the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and the Honourable Frank McKenna, will be speaking at the event.

Postsecondary Education Capacity

Ministers recognize the importance of postsecondary education in creating the highly skilled workforce needed for a vigorous, competitive knowledge-based economy. “It is essential for our economic well-being that we create more opportunities for Canadians to attend our postsecondary institutions” said Minister Lamrock. Ministers recognize that the respective responsibilities and interests of provinces, territories, and the federal government converge in this area. They will continue to urge the federal government to increase its financial contribution to postsecondary education through fiscal transfer as stated by the premiers at the 2005 meeting of the Council of the Federation. Ministers agreed to develop a data and information strategy to further define the gaps between the skills Canadians will need in the future and the capacity of the postsecondary education system to deliver them.

Ministers call on the federal government to continue and enhance financial assistance for students.

Ministers will hold their next meeting in Fredericton, New Brunswick in fall 2008.

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

Link to CMEC Website

On Monday October 22nd 2007, National School Library Day, David Cubberley, the NDP-MLA for Sannich South made a statement in the Legislature (afternoon sitting) about School Libraries and Teacher-Librarians. The text transcript for David's statement is available at the BC Legislative Assembly Website. There is also a written statement regarding school libraries by David Cubberley on the NDP website.

National School Library Day - Statement in the Legislature

"School libraries suffer in a society that says it values reading" by Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun, October 6, 2004

"Government's commitment to literacy in B.C." Letter by Tom Christensen, Minister of Education, Vancouver Sun, October 8, 2004

"Quality school libraries remain a crucial tool for literacy"  by Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun, Wednesday, October 13, 2004

"Form versus Function: Improving British Columbia's School Libraries" by Donald Hamilton, BCSTA Education Leadership, November 18, 2004 p.4 It is also in available as Nov-04.pdf file.

Recommended reading on the impact of school libraries and teacher-librarians on student achievement and information literacy

The Crisis in Canada's School Libraries: the Case for Reform and
Re-Investment by Dr. Ken Haycock

This document , commissioned by the Association of Canadian Publishers and Canada Heritage in 2003 has received wide attention.
The full text is online (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) at
The Executive Summary of that document is available through this link.

School Library Impact Studies

School Library Research & Statistics

Research and Statistics About Libraries

Statistics About Teacher-Librarians
Ratio of Teacher Librarians per Number of Students in Vancouver Elementary Schools
(Appeared in the Vancouver Courier - March 6th, 2005)

School Libraries and Student Achievement in Ontario

A Canadian study by Queen's University and People for Education -- the first of its kind -- clearly establishes the link between school libraries and student achievement. The study found that students in Grades 3 and 6 from schools with good school library programs (those well staffed with teacher-librarians) were more likely to achieve better results on standardized tests. As well, those students were more likely to enjoy reading. These findings were reported in the Toronto Star on April 7 in an article called "Better Grades? Thank a Librarian." The complete study can be found through the links at

Capitalizing on the School Library ís Potential to Positively Affect Student Achievement. From the 2002 White House Conference

Who Turned Out the Lights in the School Library?
by the BC Coalition for School Libraries (March, 2005)

Achieving Information Literacy: Standards for School Library Programs in Canada.  Canadian School Library Association & Association for Teacher-Librarianship in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 2003.  [Copies are available @ $24.95 from CLA,
328 Frank Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 0X8 (613) 232-9625 (x 310), ]

These are the "standards" for school library service in Canada.  Produced by the two major school library organizations, they provide a succinct outline for the creation of quality school library programs in every school in Canada.

UNESCO/IFLA School Library Manifesto 1999

The school library provides information and ideas that are fundamental to functioning successfully in today’s information and knowledge-based society. The school library equips students with life-long learning skills and develops the imagination, enabling them to live as responsible citizens.

Impact of School libraries on Student Achievement: A Review of the Research, March 2003.

Available online from the Australian School Library Association at

An excellent summary of recent research on the impact of the school library and teacher-librarians on student achievement.





...because student achievment is the bottom line...