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~ For Immediate Release ~

(Ottawa, November 18, 2011) - The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is dismayed by the reported seizure of The People's Library, which had been operated by the New York Occupy Wall Street movement, and echos the support of the American Library Association for the volunteers who are working to re-establish the library.

According to the ALA report, “The library held a collection of more than 5,000 items and provided free access to books, magazines, newspapers and other materials… the library reflected many of ALA’s core intellectual freedom values and best practices—a balanced, cataloged collection, representing diverse points of view, that included children’s books and reference service often provided by professional librarians.”  In spite of assurances from city officals that the library materials would be returned, most of the collection is still missing and returned equipment was damaged.

CLA has a position statement on the destruction of libraries:
“The Canadian Library Association strongly opposes the deliberate destruction of libraries, their collections and property, and the loss of access to education, culture and information resultant of such destruction caused with hostile intention by individual or groups.”

CLA President Karen Adams stated: “The Occupy Movement libraries are meeting the information needs of specific communities, and are documenting the history of those communities.  Libraries are critical to an open and democratic society.  We support those who are working to rebuild the People’s Library in New York, as well as those who are operating the Occupy Movement libraries across Canada.”

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The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA/ACB) is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

For more information please contact:
Kelly Moore, CLA Executive Director
Tel.: 613-232-9625 x 306