Canada’s libraries make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and in our communities. They help to inspire Canadians to celebrate our culture, to advance universal and equitable access to information, to support lifelong learning and to document and preserve our heritage for generations to come. In October, the inspiration created in and by libraries will be celebrated during Canadian Library Month with the theme “Libraries Inspire!”.
The products of inspiration takemanyforms. Libraries are a treasure trove of these creations and testify to the ingenuity of the human spirit. Scientific discoveries, philosophy, music, business innovation, popular culture and more all find a home within the physical and digital spaces of our collections. But inspiration is also present in more commonplace interactions. A conversation between a librarian and a researcher can take a project in a groundbreaking direction. A library program can ignite the passion of a community to work together and make positive changes. A class visit with school children can encourage an interest in books that will benefit young readers for the rest of their lives. Access to the Internet, and digital literacy training, can open doors to employment opportunities and new career paths.
Today, over 23,000 librarians and library clerks serve in over 22,000 libraries in incredibly diverse communities, from major metropolitan areas to towns and rural hamlets, from research‐intensive universities to colleges of art and design.
Over 21 million Canadians hold a public library card, making public libraries the most popular cultural institution in the country. Over 97 per cent of Canadians live in communities served by a public library, and the library adds to the vitality of every one of these communities. Academic libraries, school libraries and special libraries add immensely to the creativity and personal, professional and academic growth of Canadians, serving everyone from students and faculty to those in the corporate, government and non‐profit sectors.
Libraries have a strong role to play in the present, and they have a great deal to contribute in the future. This October, help us to celebrate not only how Libraries Inspire, but also what they have inspired: a sense of community belonging, the joy of learning, the exhilaration of discovery, a new friendship, or an idea for the next great Canadian novel. Let your community know that inspiration starts here, at the library, in hundreds of ways each day; where it leads has no limits.