If an MP’s office receives 100 calls of concern about a topic, they take notice. If you can only 1 thing, send an email to the PMO firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to the Prime Minister of Canada. Contact information here.
- Write to your local Member of Parliament. Nothing is more obvious or more important. Letters (which are better than email) from just a handful of constituents are enough to get the attention of your local MP. Ask the MP to forward your letter to the relevant Ministers. Contact information for all MPs is available here.
Mail may be sent postage-free to any Member at the following address:
House of Commons
- Write to Gary Goodyear, the Minister of State for Science and Technology. Minister Goodyear's contact information is here.
- Write to Michelle Tittley, the Clerk of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. The Standing Committee should be urged to ensure that they hear from all stakeholders and all perspectives. Contact information here.
- Write to Dr. Pierre Coulombe, President, NRC. Contact information here.
- Write to the leaders of the political parties.
- Share your concerns and ideas. Communicate with other librarians. Find the CHLA blog here.
- Be prepared to provide your input to Ruth Rochlin, CHLA/ABSC representative to the CISTI Committee on Health Sciences Information. Contact information here.
- Educate yourself. There are lots of great sources for information on CISTI and the NRC. For example, http://cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/cisti/about/overview-history.html
- Educate others. Tell your clients about the CISTI cuts. As more information is available on what the changes will mean to them, keep them informed. Educate your administration, your co-workers and your friends.
What can you say? It is important to write about what CISTI does for you or for your library, its impact and who benefits. It is important to make your views known. But here are some of the key points the CHLA Board has identified:
The scope of the cut will be about 50%. CISTI will shoulder the majority of the budget cuts to NRC. It is not clear to what extent stakeholders were consulted in the government’s strategic review.
There will be a huge impact on libraries since CISTI cannot maintain its collection at its present levels given the budget cuts, although the impact may not be felt until 2011. This will impact on the level of services offered, and especially to health libraries that are very dependent upon CISTI services, and not otherwise well served.
CISTI’s role as a national entity will change. CISTI will continue to have a national role, continue to offer services but of course, they will not have the budget nor staff to do so, so realistically, this will be a challenge.
CISTI is transitioning from print to electronic. CISTI will keep print back files, (everything up to and including 2008). There is concern that due to increasing costs and the uncertain future of CISTI print, access to even the print collections will be discontinued. The issue of last print copy is in question.
CISTI will continue to provide services to NRC. NRC is their major client so they must meet their information needs. What will be the focus of the collection? The Health community is considered to be a priority now, but there is great concern about the level of service that can continue to be provided in the new CISTI. The health community will be most affected. The journals that will be reduced will probably be the health journals since they are not so relevant to the NRC researchers.
NRC Press will be privatized. Without being eligible for depository services program, the NRC Research Press journals will no longer be freely available to the Canadian public that funds them through their tax dollars. The NRC Press publishes many open-access, peer-reviewed journals. There is considerable risk that such privatization will lead to a takeover by a foreign publishing giant, effectively closing this door to open Canadian access.
What will they do with their space once downsizing? At present, NRC will remain in the present location. There was no indication that CISTI would be re-located.
CISTI will remain a federally funded entity.
Read the CHLA/ABSC letter to NRC President, Dr. Pierre Coulombe here.