OVERDUE: The Case for Canada’s Public Libraries

OVERDUE is the outcome of three years of engagement with Canada’s urban public libraries through one of the most extraordinary periods in human history – the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Released by Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada (CULC/CBUC), the report details the significance of public libraries for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery, competitiveness, and resilience and calls for renewed and diversified investment.

The case provides recommendations for public policymakers to instill positive change:

  1. Relieve current operational pressures to ensure libraries remain safe, accessible, and welcoming libraries to everyone.
  2. Treat libraries as critical infrastructure where community resilience is strengthened through funding of libraries to deliver government priorities
  3. Formalize sustainable investment streams that recognize their expanding role.

As libraries provide essential community support, the report calls upon each order of government to up their investment in the country’s largest network of knowledge and service providers with the tools and resources they need to meet the challenges of this post-pandemic century.



Research Report


October 2023