Month: March 2008

CBEC Closing

Closing of operations at the Canadian Book Exchange Centre

The Government of Canada has introduced a new expenditure management system as part of an ongoing commitment to sound management of government spending. The new system is focused on managing results and on the ongoing assessment of all direct program spending, or strategic review, to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and value for money.

Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) strategic review concluded that the Canadian Book Exchange Centre (CBEC) program was not appropriately aligned with the priorities of Canadians and with core federal responsibilities.

LAC has come to the conclusion that it can no longer financially support the operations of CBEC. Consequently, effective immediately, CBEC will no longer accept publications from the private sector or from government and international organizations for redistribution among libraries. CBEC will shut its doors permanently effective June 30, 2008.

LAC recognizes that many libraries appreciated the services provided by CBEC. However, a review of the Centre’s activities showed a very high discard rate since many of the materials received were either in poor condition or did not fit the donation guidelines. It also confirmed that the amount of materials received and distributed has been steadily declining in recent years. Given the context, it was difficult to justify maintaining CBEC’s operation. LAC’s decision also reflects the trend in libraries towards online materials, including e-publications and periodicals that are becoming increasingly available.

To ensure the best possible use of the materials in inventory, libraries will continue to have access to the existing collection until June 30, 2008. Details will be announced shortly.

LAC continues to support and contribute to resource sharing activities both at a national and international level. Furthermore, the savings and realignment opportunities that LAC has identified through the strategic reviews will be reinvested in higher-priority programs related to core federal government business.

LAC will work with the federal library community over the coming months to put mechanisms in place which will facilitate the disposal of their surplus publications. A letter will be sent to the senior officials responsible for information management in federal departments and agencies.

For information, please contact:

Alison Bullock
Acting Director, Resource Sharing and Rights Management Programs and Services Library and Archives Canada