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Elementary and Secondary Schools: The Role, Challenges and Financial Conditions of School and School Library Resources in Canada

A Report Prepared for the National Library of Canada by:

Michel Durand and Marla Waltman Daschko
Culture Statistics Program
Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics
Statistics Canada

September 2001




  1.  Benefits of school libraries for learning
  2.  Funding cutbacks
  3.  Funding formulas for schools and school libraries
  4.  Staffing
  5.  Limits on development of collections
  6.  Restricted access to school libraries


  1.  Data Sources
  2.  Job prospects


  1.  Number of elementary and secondary schools
  2.  Number of elementary and secondary school educators
  3.  Pupil-educator ratios
  4.  Enrolment as a factor in demand for school libraries
  5.  Projections for elementary and secondary enrolment


  1.  Role of the Teacher-librarian
  2.  Staffing of school libraries


  1.  Public spending on culture
  2.  Public spending on education
  3.  Public spending on elementary-secondary education
  4.  Public spending on libraries
  5.  Public spending on school libraries


  1.  Technology penetration in the schools
  2.  Connectivity of libraries to the Internet
  3.  Consumer profile and library use
  4.  Sales of published titles in Canada to libraries




  8.  NATIONAL GRADUATES SURVEY, 1988, 1992 AND 1997



Historically, Canadian libraries have been vast warehouses of our nation’s intellectual and literary wealth acting as a vital resource contributing to our cultural heritage, identity, and evolution. As libraries become connected to the information superhighway in today’s knowledge-driven society, their role in the fabric of Canadian life and culture is being transformed.

Libraries are the most heavily used cultural institutions in many Canadian communities. Libraries help fulfil several essential roles:

"First they ... encourage people to read ...and educate readers. They are also important as information providers. [Furthermore, they] ... advise users and encourage them to read works that go beyond bestsellers." 1

Libraries constitute a place where life-transforming discoveries are made and careers are launched. Libraries also play a major role as a part of the "ecological" fabric of the Canadian book industry. The "extraordinary network of libraries make an essential and continuing contribution in promoting books and reading and distributing information". 2

Canada’s network of libraries includes some 22,000 institutions, with school libraries accounting for a large portion of this infrastructure. There are many different types of libraries:

  • National libraries
  • School libraries (elementary and secondary)
  • University and college libraries
  • Public libraries
  • Provincial/territorial libraries
  • Government libraries
  • Libraries in profit-making organizations
  • Libraries in not for profit organizations

This report provides an overview of school libraries in Canada. While the exact nature of their socio-economic impact is not well understood or documented fully, various indicators and qualitative information are available to portray the current state of the school library system relative to its past. These indicators may provide a window into the future of this sector.

Specifically, this report will examine information (both qualitative and quantitative), on library-related issues and concerns, elementary and secondary schools, school libraries, government spending, trends in enrolment and library finances. It will also provide an analysis of the availability and quality of current data sources for school libraries.

In general, this report concludes that school libraries in Canada are suffering from declines in the public funding and the professional staffing required to meet the needs of the nation’s children. School libraries, in most jurisdictions in Canada, have felt the impact of cutbacks in education spending. Schools across Canada, except for Alberta, appear to be hiring increased numbers of part-time staff rather than hiring full-time educators in the schools. In addition, there are fewer full-time librarians being employed in Canada; this would be reflected in the elementary and secondary school systems. The impact of this move to part-time staff will be felt even more so in the coming years given the aging of the librarian and educator populations in Canada.

Enrolment figures at the elementary-secondary level reflect demographic trends. Changes in the composition of the population, due to birth and immigration rates, have an impact on the capacity to fund school library systems and the requirements for those libraries. Overall, the Canadian population ages 5 to 19 is expected to decline over the longer term (2001-2016) by 11.4%, lessening the demand for school library services. This decline, however, is not consistent across the country with some provinces expecting increased enrolment (B.C., Ontario and Alberta) and others experiencing more severe declines.

Public spending by provincial and municipal governments for school libraries has decreased by .4% between 1993-94 and 1998-99, dropping from $535.3 million to $532.9 million. The significance of the decline in resources is seen more readily in the amounts available for school library spending per student; there has been a national reduction of 4.6% in per student spending between 1993-94 ($89.64) and 1997-98 ($85.49). Neither of these amounts, however, takes into account the negative effect of inflation on the purchasing power of those dollars. If viewed in constant dollars, it would be clearer that the funds available for the staffing of, and for collections development in, school libraries have been reduced rather than increased during the 1990s.


1. Benefits of school libraries for learning

A properly staffed, appropriately stocked, and well-organized school library is a critical tool that allows librarians and teachers to work together to help students achieve higher levels of literacy, problem-solving and information and communication technology skills. 3

  • A U.S. study found that students in elementary and secondary schools with appropriate and sufficient library collections and qualified library personnel performed better on standardized tests, especially in reading, regardless of social and economic factors in a community. 4 Test scores in elementary schools with updated libraries were up to 14 percent higher than for students at schools with older collections; and scores on state tests improved by 10 to 15 points in schools with strong library programs and enough qualified staff members. 5
  • Another U.S. study 6 reported that three variables (ratio of students to library media specialists, weekly LMC visits per students, and weekly circulation per student) explained 51 percent of the variation in NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) reading test scores for 1994.

2. Funding cutbacks

Despite the demonstrated benefits of school libraries, the school library, long considered the hub of learning, is likely to be understaffed, under-funded or closed at some point during the week. 7 School libraries in most jurisdictions in Canada have felt the impact of cutbacks in education spending.

The result is that school boards and schools have had to make serious decisions about how they will spend their limited resources. Some school boards or schools choose to allocate funding for a full-time principal or librarian and cut elsewhere. Others choose to cut those staffing resources along with collections development and unlimited access to the library.

3. Funding formulas for schools and school libraries

All provinces use some type of funding formula to determine the level of funding to be distributed to school boards or schools within their jurisdiction. Using Ontario as an example, the province provides school boards with money for a full-time librarian at ratio of 1.3 per 1,000 students at the elementary level and 1.1 in high schools. An Ontario school board needs 796 students (elementary) and 934 students (secondary) to qualify for one full-time teacher-librarian.

In reality, the staffing of Ontario elementary school libraries does not meet the provincial standard of 1.3 teacher-librarians per 1,000 students, with the ratio being estimated at half that figure. 8

4. Staffing

Teacher-librarians are fully qualified teachers who have taken additional specialty courses to become librarians. They focus on integrating information technology with the curriculum, and work with teachers to design research units. In order to deal with reduced education budgets, most school boards are reducing the number of teacher-librarians hired with the result that there are severe staffing shortages in elementary and secondary school libraries.

In some jurisdictions, schools are choosing to hire library technicians instead of teacher-librarians, arguing that it may make more sense to have a library technician who can, at the very least, keep the library open, rather than the school having to close the library entirely. Library technicians are paid less than teachers are and their work is focused on the cataloguing and shelving of library materials.

The ability of school libraries to staff teacher-librarian positions has also been restricted due to the shortage of trained workers. As the baby boom generation ages, retirement has begun to thin the ranks of school librarians. However, the hiring of young skilled teacher-librarians is not always a simple solution. For many new graduates, positions as corporate information specialists or researchers in the high technology field provide greater remuneration, respect, and job flexibility than do school libraries.

5. Limits on development of collections

Government funding cutbacks have to led to fewer books in libraries and fewer librarians in schools to offer crucial guidance on the purchase of children’s books for collections. Also, after paying for online research magazines, periodicals and CD-ROMs, there is often very little left to buy books. Cutbacks are also affecting the ability of schools to keep their libraries up-to-date by replacing aging collections.

  • The librarian at Cole Harbour High School in Nova Scotia reported that, in a high school of over 1,000 students, the library has not had a budget for two years. In 2000, their school library had a print collection of 2,876 titles of which 30% were published before 1980. 9
  • Each year parents are being asked to raise funds for classroom supplies, computers, library books, textbooks, field trips, enrichment, and extracurricular activities. The demands are taking a toll. The number of schools in Ontario reporting fundraising for textbooks dropped from 21% to 18%, while the percentage for library books dropped to 50%, down from 56% over the previous year. 10

6. Restricted access to school libraries

In some schools, the library is open only when teachers take their class in or there is a volunteer available, leaving children without access to computers or printers when the library is closed.

  • One-third of elementary school libraries in Ontario, for example, are now open only part-time (20 hours per week or less), some of them open just five hours a week. 11


In the past, employment as a librarian was typically linear in that a graduate of library studies found a job in a library and followed an upward progression until retirement. Today, however, the path is more circuitous and therefore requires that graduates be flexible and have extremely varied interests to do their jobs. In addition, it is critical that apart from the necessary communication and management skills, they must be comfortable with technology. 12

While there is a dearth of statistics examining the way in which the profession is changing, some information on patterns of library employment are available from Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey (LFS) 13 and the National Library of Canada’s National Core Library Statistics Program (NCLSP). Similar information is also available for technical library occupations. Unfortunately, due to financial restraints, the NCLSP does not include school libraries in its data collection.

1. Data Sources

It is important to keep in mind that data reported from the Labour Force Survey are based on a respondent’s description of their work and an interviewer’s assessment of the primary occupational classification of individuals. Consequently, it is possible that some library technicians identified themselves as librarians, thereby inflating the actual numbers somewhat. In addition, it is must be understood that the National Core Library Statistics Program uses a different conceptual framework for data collection. Therefore, caution is advised when comparing the two data sources.

i. National Core Library Statistics Program (NCLSP)

  • The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) 14 library staff in Canada rose from 20,000 to 25,000 between 1994 and 1996.
  • Over 5,200 FTE library staff were librarians in 1996, and over 2,500 were library technicians. 15 This distribution remained fairly stable over this period.

ii. Labour Force Survey (LFS)

  • Over 65% of librarians (6,630 individuals) were employed in full-time jobs in 1999, while the remainder (3,440 individuals) held part-time positions (table 1).
  • Over 58% of the library/archival technicians and assistants (8,323 individuals) worked in full-time positions in 1999, while 5,863 worked part-time (table 1).
  • Between 1991 and 1999, there was a 43.2% reduction in full-time librarians employed in Canada as compared to a drop of only .2% for library technicians and 24.6% for library clerks (table 2a).
  • Almost 70% of librarians in the Canadian labour force were between 35 and 54 years of age in 1998, reflecting the ageing of the overall Canadian workforce.
  • Fifty-seven percent of library workers were university degree holders in 1998, a proportion higher than that of other culture workers and more than double that of the entire labour force. Actually, over 90% of library workers in 1998 had some post-secondary education.
  • Due to the method of classification of librarians in the LFS, some individuals classed as professional librarians were actually technicians as defined by NCLSP; in fact, a large proportion of librarians in the LFS reported having graduated from community college programs only and had university certification as opposed to degrees.
  • Educational backgrounds of technicians were quite different, with 76% having no university degree. This is not surprising given that these positions require a different skill set than the one required for librarians.

2. Job prospects

The National Graduate Survey (NGS) examined the transition of 1990 graduates from library science and record science programs 16 into librarian and archivist occupations, and 1995 graduates in the same transition period.

  • A larger percentage (76%) of the 1990 university graduates in library science found full-time employment two years after graduation than 1990 graduates of other university programs (73%) (table 3a)
  • Roughly, 77% of the 1995 university and college graduates found full-time employment as librarians and archivists in 1997, as compared to 1995 graduates of other university programs (66%) (table 3c).
  • Half of all employed university 1995 library science graduates earned at least $32,000 annually, two years after graduation (table 3c).
  • 1995 library and records science graduates from trade and vocational schools had lower full-time employment rates (51%) than graduates of other programs (70%), two years after graduation (table 3d).


1. Number of elementary and secondary schools

Since elementary-secondary education is compulsory in all jurisdictions, at least up to the age of 16, the capacity of the elementary-secondary school system in each jurisdiction, and in turn the number of schools, is largely dependent on the size of the school-aged population. Schools open and close over time and this varies by jurisdiction.

There are considerable differences across the country in the distribution of library institutions by size, as measured by enrolment, available budgets and library programs. The size of schools, and the areas served, has an impact on the costs of education delivery as well as the extent to which specialized instruction and services (e.g., library services) can be offered.

  • In 1998-1999, there were 15,637 elementary and secondary schools in Canada, a slight decrease (-2%) since 1993-1994 (table 4a).
  • The majority of provinces lost schools between 1993-1994 and 1998-1999, except for PEI, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia which all had modest growth in the number of new elementary and secondary schools opened, and NWT which had a growth of 15.6% in new schools (table 4a).
  • More than 95% of Canadian elementary and secondary schools had an enrolment of fewer than 1,000 students in 1998-1999 (table 5b). However, larger schools are becoming more common. Between 1993-1994 and 1998-1999, schools housing 500 to 999 students were the fastest growing of all school sizes (30.9% growth) (table 5a).
  • The relationship between the number of small schools with less than 50 students, and the geography and population dispersion within jurisdictions, is evident from the higher percentage of small schools found in Newfoundland and Labrador, the western provinces and the Northwest Territories (table 6).
  • The average enrolment per school was 343 in 1998-1999. Excluding overseas schools, the jurisdiction with the lowest average enrolment was the Northwest Territories (NWT) with 203 students while the highest was Ontario with 389 students per school (table 6).

2. Number of elementary and secondary school educators

  • There were over 300,000 full-time elementary and secondary educators in Canada in 1998-1999. This number has been quite stable between 1993-1994 and 1998-1999, fluctuating only modestly (1.7%) over that period (table 7a).
  • The only provinces to have any significant growth in the number of full-time educators was Alberta with 11.3% (table 7a)
  • There has been a more significant growth in the numbers of part-time educators than in the numbers of full-time educators in Canadian elementary and secondary schools. In 1998-1999, there were approximately 46,200 part-time educators, a 13.1% growth from 1993 to 1994. The jurisdictions with the greatest growth in part-time educators were the Alberta, Yukon, NWT, and British Columbia (33.3%) (table 7b).
  • Given the projected marginal rate of decrease (-2.3%) in the population 19 years of age and under between 2001 and 2006, there appears to be an adequate balance between supply of new education graduates and the future demand for teachers in the short term. The age cohort will drop by 10%, however, between 2001 and 2026 (table 8).
  • Provinces with the largest population growth projections for elementary and secondary school ages (5 to 19) between 1999 and 2004 are Alberta and Ontario, while Newfoundland, and New Brunswick have the largest projections for population decreases over the same period (table 9).
  • Teachers are aging at a similar rate as the overall Canadian workforce. The average age of an elementary-secondary educator in 1993-1994 was 41.6 whereas in 1998-1999 it was 42.6 years (table 10). At the elementary-secondary level, where teachers tend to retire before the age of 60, about one-third of the current teaching force will retire over the next 10 years.

3. Pupil-educator ratios

  • The pupil-teacher ratio had been relatively stable between 1986-1987 to 1993-1994, fluctuating but starting and ending at a ratio of 16.1 pupils per full-time educator. There was then an annual increase between 1993-1994 and 1997-1998 when it reached a high of 16.4 pupils per full-time educator. In 1998-1999, the ratio dropped below the 1993-1994 level to 15.9 pupils per public elementary and secondary school educator (table 11).
  • In 1998-1999, the Yukon and NWT consistently had the lowest pupil-educator ratios (12.7 and 12.9 respectively), with New Brunswick and British Columbia having the highest (16.9 each) (table 11).

4. Enrolment as a factor in demand for school libraries

i. Historical trends in school enrolment

  • Generally, after a long period of growth, elementary-secondary school enrolment has leveled off in most provinces and territories (table 12).
    • Enrolment figures, for 1998-1999, show a total number of 5.4 million students, a 5% decrease from the all-time high of 5.8 million attained in 1970-1971.
    • Elementary-secondary enrolment grew steadily by approximately 1% per year between 1986-1987 and 1995-1996.
    • After ten consecutive years of growth, elementary-secondary enrolments showed a marginal decrease in 1996-1997 of 0.3% (table 12).
    • Between 1996-1997 and 1998-1999, there was annual growth of less than 1% in elementary-secondary school enrolments (table 12).
  • The average enrolment per institution reached 343 students in 1998-1999, representing an increase of 2.8% over the 334 students per school in 1993-1994 (table 6).
  • The number of secondary school graduates for 1997-1998 was 297,400, a decrease of nearly 3,900 (or 1.3 %) over the previous year (table 13a & 13b).

ii. Factors which affect enrolment

Enrolment figures at the elementary-secondary level tend to reflect demographic trends because of compulsory school attendance requirements, and are affected not only by the birth rate within a jurisdiction, but also by factors such as net in- or out-migration. Changes in the composition of the population have an impact on the capacity to fund the education and library systems and the requirements for classrooms, teachers, and support services such as libraries.

a. Demographic trends

  • There is a major impact from the size of the population, especially for elementary-secondary programs, where enrolment rates are close to 100% of the population between the age of five and the end of compulsory schooling (table 14).
  • Canada has an aging population and a birth rate that has dropped below the level of maintaining the population. (tables 8 and 9)

b. Immigration

  • New immigrants in the 4 to 24 age group form a higher percentage of new immigrants (33.6%) than the percentage of all Canadians of this age group (as a percentage of the total population (26.9%) (tables 9 and 13b).
  • By far the largest number of new immigrants in 1996 went to Ontario, followed by Quebec and Alberta. With respect to inter-jurisdictional migration, only Prince Edward Island, Alberta and British Columbia experienced net in-migration between 1990 and 1997.
  • Immigration to Canada and migration between and within Canadian jurisdictions affect the education and library systems through:
    • Increasing or decreasing enrolments
    • Creating need for English or French as a second language programs
    • Affecting the tax base from which jurisdictions draw funding
    • Increased or decreased need for staff (teachers and librarians), resources, and perhaps school buildings, as well as pressures to use existing resources more efficiently.

c. Municipal-level politics

  • Amalgamations are increasing with resulting restructuring of community services (including schools).

d. Urban-rural change

  • The population in remote areas is declining, while rural areas adjacent to urban areas are attracting growth.

e. Political decisions

  • In 2002-2003, Ontario will complete its shift from a five-year to a four-year high school program, thereby reducing its enrolment in secondary schools.

f. Pre-elementary education

  • The role of pre-elementary education in fostering "school readiness" is an issue of emerging importance. Pre-elementary education is an important component of the lifelong learning policy framework recently adopted by the OECD.
  • Research has shown advantages for children who participate in some form of education at an early age.
  • Between one-third and one-half of all three to five year-olds were attending a pre-elementary program in most jurisdictions in 1996-1997. Between 1986-1987 and 1996-1997 the enrolment rate for pre-elementary education increased by three percentage points to 41.6%.

5. Projections for elementary and secondary enrolment

  • In the short term (2001 to 2006), the Canadian population aged 5 to 19 is expected to decline slightly (2.3%). On the longer term, (2001 to 2016), the drop of this age cohort is more substantial (11.4%), lessening the demand for elementary-secondary education and school library services (table 8).
  • Increased enrolment is expected in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta (table 9).
  • The Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Yukon are likely to face declines in school enrolment (table 9). These jurisdictions may experience conflicting pressures both to maintain human and financial resources at present levels and to cut these resources in response to lower enrolment.
  • Although Canadian education levels are already high by international standards, they have continued to improve in recent years. More Canadians are graduating from high school and more graduates are going to higher education. Between 1981 and 1991, the percentage of people aged 15 to 19 attending school full-time grew from 66% to 80%.
  • The pre-school population is expected to decline slightly from the 1996 level by 2001. It is expected to remain steady until 2006 and then to increase.
  • In 1997, 97.3% of children in Canada six years of age were enrolled in elementary education. This figure increases to 98.5% of all children 7 to 14 years of age (table 14).
  • Any increase in secondary school enrolment beyond the age of compulsory education would tend to increase demand for library services.


1. Role of the Teacher-librarian

Teacher-librarians are fully qualified teachers who have taken additional specialty courses that allow them to work as librarians. They focus on integrating information technology with the curriculum, and work with teachers to design research units.

The Canadian School Librarian Association (CSLA) makes the following points about teacher-librarians:

  • they know children’s literature and what is good for children
  • they are invaluable in maintaining a collection that makes sense for the school
  • they teach students how to use a library, how to do research, how to write papers, how to use computers and the Internet to enhance their learning.

Given that information literacy skills are critical for today’s graduating students to be informed and knowledgeable members of an information-based society, the role of the teacher-librarian now includes three major functions:

Curriculum development and leadership
The teacher-librarian co-ordinates the design, implementation and integration of a school-wide information literacy skills program to enable students to become independent life-long learners. The teacher-librarian develops a strong team approach with teachers to provide training and support as they assume more responsibility for teaching information literacy skills with integrated curriculum.

Information management
Plans, develops and manages equitable access to information resources and technology within the school. Develops policies and procedures for the selection of learning resources to meet curricular, informational and recreational needs. Instructs teachers and students in the ethical and legal use of information. Plans and develops partnerships with community information providers.

Collaborative program planning and teaching
Establishes and implements a collaborative planning process with teachers. Assesses and evaluates student learning based on pre-established learning outcomes. Helps students develop efficient and effective learning strategies and organizational skills. Designs and manages the physical environment to reflect the program.

2. Staffing of school libraries

The school library crisis is unparalleled at the elementary level. In Ontario, for example, only two percent of schools are large enough to qualify for a full-time teacher-librarian under Ontario’s funding formula.

  • The statistical report of the National Core Library Statistics Program estimated that there were 14,000 to 16,000 school libraries across Canada in 1996. 17
  • Whether full-time or part-time, in 2000 just 68% of Ontario elementary schools had a teacher-librarian, down from 80% in 1998. 18 Of equal concern is that only 18% reported having a full-time teacher-librarian.
  • Some 10% of Ontario’s boards no longer have any librarians in elementary schools, and at least one board relies entirely on library technicians. 19 It was reported that between 1998 and 2000, the number of school libraries in Ontario staffed by a teacher-librarian has declined by 15%. 20
  • In Ontario schools without a full-time teacher-librarian, libraries reported that they were staffed as follows 21:
    • 50% by a part-time teacher-librarian
    • 17% by a technician
    • 9% by other teachers
    • 6% have libraries that are not staffed at all or are only for some of the hours it is open.
    • Others reported relying solely on part-time library technicians, volunteers, or students.
  • Alberta also reported steady declines in the number of teacher-librarians in public and separate schools. Some urban boards, such as in Saskatchewan, have received more funding and teacher-librarians have become a greater priority while others in that province have replaced their teacher-librarian with an itinerant resource-based learning teacher and instructional consultant, leaving the daily operation of the library to library-technicians. Many rural schools are staffed by library technicians or library clerks. 22


Public library services are affected by social, demographic, economic, technological and political changes in society. Because of persistent and relatively high levels of inflation, all public services have become more costly. Total expenditures have risen by over 38% in the last four years or 8.3% annually. Governments caught between rising expenditures and slower revenue growth have been forced to make trade-off decisions and to place restraints on expenditures. A better-educated public has become more vocal and articulate in expressing demands for accountability and relevance of public services.

1. Public spending on culture

Public spending on culture Canada is varied and extensive and is carried out by all levels of government.

All levels of government in Canada spent $6.1 billion (in current dollars) on culture in 1998-1999, 1.6% below the level spent in 1993-94 (table 15). However, considering inflation, this translates into a decrease of 12.2% over the 1990s. Since the beginning of the decade, 1997-1998 was the eighth consecutive year with a decrease in funding to culture. The following year 1998-1999 tri-level government spending increased in real terms, although modestly (2.3%), over the previous year.

2. Public spending on education

Canada’s investment in education is among the highest in the world, as measured by OECD indicators of education expenditure. In 1995, Canada had the highest expenditure on education as a proportion of GDP among G-7 countries, and the second highest per student expenditure.

Education represents the second largest category of public expenditures in Canada, exceeded only by spending on health. How much government invests in education depends on such factors as the demographic structure of the population, enrolment rates at the various levels of education, national costs for educational resources, and the strength of the economy. Once the overall level of public resources devoted to education has been established, the proportion given to each level of education must be determined. Recent pedagogical studies point to the importance of the pre-elementary and elementary levels of education to learning later in life, and may result in increased pressure to fund these levels in the future.

The way funding is allocated among the various levels of education is affected by enrolment expectations, which are based on projections of the distribution of the population between age groups. To make informed decisions on the distribution of resources in the education and library systems  -  from decisions on staffing (teachers and librarians), to investment in the construction and maintenance of buildings, to program planning that meets the educational needs  -  policy makers must examine demographic trends over time. The availability of funding may also be affected by changes of the working-age population, which provides a substantial portion of the public funds used for education, including library expenditures.

  • In 1993-1994, total expenditures on education in Canada stood at $57.1 billion.
  • By 1998-1999, education expenditure was estimated at $60.8 billion (table 15) or just under $2,000 per capita, based on a total Canadian population of 30.3 million. This was an increase of 6.6 % between 1993-1994 and 1998-1999.
  • In 1999-2000, expenditures on education appear to have increased further to 61.9 billion, 23 an increase of 8.4% since 1993-1994 (table 16).
  • Data indicate that government priorities are changing. While the share of government total financial resources allocated to education increased 2% to 3.5% 1993-1994 and 1998-1999, the share devoted to culture overall, and to libraries, dropped by about 7%, to 1.4% and 0.4%, respectively (table 15).
  • The increase or decrease of total expenditures on education varied across the country. While most provinces increased expenditures between 1993-1994 and 1999-2000, the growth ranged from 2.5% in Nova Scotia to 26.6% in Saskatchewan. Three jurisdictions decreased their education expenditures during the period: Yukon, the NWT and Newfoundland (table 16).

3. Public spending on elementary-secondary education

  • Provincial expenditures on elementary and secondary school are not always reflective of overall expenditures on provincial education systems. Overall, while education expenditures in Canada have increased by 8.4% between 1993-1994 and 1999-2000, total elementary and secondary school expenditures have only increased by 5.4% (table 17). This is because, in many provinces, greater increases were directed toward the post-secondary system (e.g. Ontario).
  • At the provincial level, expenditures on elementary-secondary education show a wide range of spending. The NWT and Newfoundland have seen massive reductions in elementary-secondary school expenditures (58.3% and 15.7% respectively), while British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have seen increases ranging from 17.5% to 23.5% (table 17).
  • As governments in Canada have moved to reduce deficits in recent years, there has been a decline in constant dollar per capita (student) expenditure on education. Per student expenditures in Canada in 1996-1997, were $6,864 per student at the elementary-secondary level compared to expenditures in 1993-1994 of $6,815. This was an increase of .7%, which, if converted to constant dollars, would indicate an actual decrease in funding (table 18).
  • Per student expenditures were also marginally up (.7%) between 1993-1994 and 1996-1997. The NWT had the highest per capita expenditures ($12,390) while PEI had the lowest $4,600) in 1996-1997 (table 18).
  • PEI’s low expenditure was the result of a drop of 11.2% between 1993-1994 and 1996-1997. Newfoundland which had, in 1993-1994, spent less per student than PEI had increased its investment per student by 7.4% over the same period and by 1996-1997 spent $5,477 as compared to PEI’s $4,600 (table 18).
  • Expenditures on elementary-secondary education by school boards increased marginally (2.1% between 1993-1994 and 1997-1998 with the greatest growth in the purchasing of supplies (20.6%). Capital expenditures were the second fastest growing expenditure (table 19).

4. Public spending on libraries

Each year, the federal government provides funds to the National Library of Canada and provincial governments transfer funds to municipalities for libraries. In addition, municipal governments spend from their own budgets on libraries. In examining the data, it is important to bear in mind that government expenditures at one level may in part become revenue for another level.

Budget reductions have become commonplace in all segments of the economy dependent on government funding. Libraries have been no exception.

  • Of the $6.1 billion 24 spent by governments on culture 25 in 1998-1999 (table 15), $1.8 billion was spent on libraries, representing 30% of total government spending on culture (table 20). This share has remained fairly stable since 1993 although there was a small peak in 1997-1998 where expenditures on libraries totaled 31.9% of spending.
  • While spending on libraries, as a proportion of total culture expenditures at the federal level was 1.6% in 1998-1999, the respective shares for the provincial/territorial and municipal levels were 36.8% and 79% (table 15).
  • The significance of municipal government spending on libraries is abundantly clear. Municipal governments bore the lion’s share of the costs in funding libraries. Roughly, $1.1 billion was spent in 1998-1999 on libraries at the municipal level alone, representing 59.3% of all government expenditures on libraries. Provincial/territorial and federal shares in 1998-1999 were 38.2% ($693.9 million) and 2.5% ($45.1 million), respectively (table 15).
  • Overall expenditures by municipalities grew by almost 5% between 1993-1994 and 1998-1999 and in those years municipal library expenditures rose by 2.3%, continuing their position as the most significant player relative to the other levels of government. Over the same period, expenditures on libraries dropped by 5.1% federally and 8.0% provincially (table 15).

5. Public spending on school libraries

At a time when the library community is touting the potential role of school libraries in fostering information literacy and helping students meet high academic standards, the library centres still appear to take a back seat when it comes to budget allocations, according to available data.

  • School libraries have been on the receiving end of many of the cuts in public spending felt by school systems across Canada. Even in periods where there have been increases to public education spending, the libraries have not been the recipients.
  • Overall, public spending by provincial and municipal governments on school libraries has decreased by .4%, dropping from $535.3 million to $532.9 million between 1993-1994 and 1998-1999 (table 15). This does not take into account, however, the effect of inflation on the purchasing power of those dollars. In constant dollars, this decrease would be greater.
  • Provincial government spending on school libraries has decreased from $261.8 million in 1993 to $260.1 million in 1998, a drop of -.6%. Those provinces, which registered a decline in funding, included Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and the Yukon. Using constant 1992 dollars, New Brunswick had the largest increase (156.7%) while Newfoundland had the greatest decline (-65.2%) (table 21).
  • Municipal funding for school libraries also decreased minimally from $273.5 million in 1993 to $272.8 million in 1998 (-0.3%). Municipal funding was increased in only five jurisdictions (PEI, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and NWT) and was reduced in the others, significantly in Newfoundland (-36.8%) and New Brunswick (-33.1%) (table 22).
  • Overall per student school library spending has decreased by -5.3% between 1993-1994 ($102.74) and 1998-1999 ($97.26). School library spending per student, by province, varies greatly. In 1998-1999, British Columbia spent the most per student on school libraries with an expenditure of $256.47 while New Brunswick spent only $56.33 (table 23).
  • The wide range of per student expenditures on school libraries across the country is of concern.
    • British Columbia far outstrips any other province in expenditure on school libraries.
    • Even those in the medium range (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) greatly exceed most of the other provinces, particularly New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Quebec and Ontario.
  • School librarians are pressing for a bigger role in improving student achievement at the same time that schools are spending less on books and other materials critical to helping them meet that goal. Despite rising costs and the increasing need for information resources, schools library budgets for all materials have shrunk. This is alarming, as many have suggested that any library collection that does not grow dies because it becomes outdated and cannot support student learning. Many library collections have not grown appropriately for years.
  • Each year parents are raising funds for classroom supplies, computers, library books, textbooks, field trips, enrichment, and extracurricular activities. The demands are taking a toll. The number of schools in Ontario reporting fundraising for textbooks dropped from 21% to 18%, while the percentage for library books dropped to 50%, down from 56% over the previous year. 26


1. Technology penetration in the schools

  • The majority of Canadian schools are connected to the Internet for educational purposes. Canada’s education systems are making considerable strides in equipping elementary-secondary schools with computers. In January 1999, there was one computer for every nine elementary students, compared with one for every eight lower secondary students, and one for every seven upper secondary students 27.
  • In January 1999, elementary schools representing 88% of enrolments and secondary schools representing 97% of enrolments were connected to the Internet for educational purposes. 28
  • In January 1999, only 12% of elementary students attended a school without Internet access for instructional purposes, while less than 3% of students attended intermediate and secondary schools without Internet access. 29
  • In 1999, one-third of Canadian elementary and secondary school students used the Internet for e-mail and two-thirds used the World Wide Web for educational purposes (table 24).
  • School principals reported, however, having insufficient number of computers, lack of time for teachers to prepare lessons using computers for learning purposes, and insufficient training opportunities for teachers to develop skills in using computers for learning purposes.
  • The inadequacy of library budgets is also a big concern and many schools are being forced to choose technology over books. While the task of managing technology often falls onto school media specialists, most schools are staffed with just one full-time librarian to carry out the task. Money has also been made available to gain access to the Internet, and the percentage of schools having local-area networks, which connect computers within a school, jumped.

2. Connectivity of libraries to the Internet

As information technology becomes increasingly pervasive in the delivery of library services, it is important to examine the extent to which libraries are connected to the Internet.

Increasingly, we are evolving towards the electronic library as advances are made in Web technology. This has created rich opportunities for libraries to offer new services. Librarians are challenged to produce Web pages so that information is organized for retrieval in an efficient manner. They are also pioneering efforts to provide the links to information so that their patrons can have the most timely access possible.

In 1996-1997, the Electronic Publications Pilot (EPP) 30 study gathered information on how Depository Service Program (DSP) libraries and their clients are adapting to the Internet. The study found that almost 100% of government libraries were connected to the Internet, followed by 98% of academic libraries and 93% of public libraries. However, all sectors agreed that more resources and training were necessary for successful transition into the information age.

Librarians in this study reported a shortage of resources such as hardware, software, and financial and human resources. All of these are inter-dependent, because the lack of financial resources affects the ability of a library to purchase or upgrade hardware and staff shortages reduce the time librarians have to learn how to use the new technologies.

Although comprehensive information on the connectivity of all Canadian school libraries to the Internet is currently not available; the SchoolNet program under Industry Canada 31 maintains data for libraries under provincial jurisdiction.

Connectivity, for the purposes of this database, is defined as a school or library having at least one computer with access to at least one Internet service (e-mail, file transfer protocol or the Web). The data indicate that as of April 1999, roughly 97% of provincially funded public libraries across Canada were hooked up to the Internet.

Libraries, however, are not the major location of access to the Internet for most Canadians. In 1998, 4.3% of Canadian households had at least one regular Internet user who gained access to the Internet at a public library. The percentage of households using Internet access at public libraries has grown, by 2000, to 6.5% at the national level. The percentage of use ranges from a low of 3.9% of households in New Brunswick to a high of 8.3% in Ontario. 32

3. Consumer profile and library use

While comprehensive information on school library use for all Canadian school libraries has not been collected, data are available for public libraries, which are the most frequently used of government-supported cultural institutions. 33

  • Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey (GSS), revealed that, as a leisure activity, 28% of the population 15 years or older had used library services in 1998, as compared to 34% in 1992. This is a decline of 23% over a six year period (tables 25a & b).
  • Looking at the age group of 15 to 19 year olds provides some indication of the use by high school age students of libraries, including school libraries. In 1992, 59% of this age group borrowed materials from a library compared to 41% in 1998 (tables 25a & b), a reduction in borrowing of 16%. In 1998, however, data collected shows that a larger percentage (48%) used a library, not only for borrowing materials but also for using the Internet or doing research.
  • In 1998, 14% of Canadians aged 15 to 19, used a library at least one to four times a year, while 10% used five or more times a year. The largest single percentage, 21.5%, used the library at least once a month (table 25c). This age group was more active library users compared to all Canadians over the age of 15, where only 14% used the library at least once a month.

4. Sales of published titles in Canada to libraries

  • Libraries are a large market for publishers in Canada. In 1998, net sales to libraries and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education institutions totaled $351.9 million, of which $221.6 went to elementary-secondary institutions (including libraries). This was a 23.3% increase over 1992 (table 27).


The culture landscape in Canada is in transition and school libraries are no exception. As competition for limited and reduced government resources is intensifying a whole series of difficult questions are being raised and discussed by people working in the library field. Is the growth of the school library system in Canada being eroded by hard economic times, and reduced government funding, increased competition from other government priorities? Should the case for libraries be predicated on economic and political arguments, or are more comprehensive and compelling arguments required?

In the culture sector, concerted attempts have been made to better understand and measure the economic benefits derived from cultural activities.

To substitute the economic value of school libraries for their creative and educational values would simply be foolish. However, to ignore their economic importance, and especially their usefulness in promoting balanced economic growth and employment opportunities, would also mean missed opportunities.

There had been, and continues to be a marked tendency, in many parts of the world, to rely on economic arguments. These arguments are often predicated on the ‘economic impact’ that cultural activities have on consumption, income, investment, employment activity, and the rate of economic growth. Therefore, Canada too invested in developing economic impact numbers.

The direct impact of the culture sector, as measured by the contribution to the GDP is estimated at over $22 billion in 1996-1997, with some 640,000 jobs depending on culture activities. In terms of GDP contribution, the culture sector accounts for 3.11% of the GDP of the country in 1996-1997. Between 1994 and 1996 (the only years for which the economic impact has been computed) the culture share has increased modestly (3.7%), an indication of that the culture sector is holding its ground.

A preliminary analysis of the economic impact of school libraries in Canada determined that school libraries added $192.3 million to the GDP in 1996, a decrease of 1.9% compared to $196.0 million in 1994. With respect to jobs, there were 5,562 jobs in the school library sector in 1996, a 12.8% increase from 4,931 in 1994 (table 26).

Probably, the economic impact of school libraries can be viewed only in the long-term. Research has clearly established a link between literacy and economic security, showing that Canadians with weaker literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed, work in lower-paying jobs and live in low-income households. 34 Most children, regardless of economic circumstances, have access to books and opportunities to read. However, children from low-income households do not tend to read as frequently. For example, less than one-third of low-income parents reported that their youngest child read every day, compared with half the parents from non-low-income households.

The links between library use, access to good school libraries and the development of literacy skills are also clearly established. One can argue, therefore, that there are long-term implications if school libraries are allowed to continue to decline or stagnate.


School libraries have an important role to play in our future competitiveness in the global economy. Libraries, in concert with learning institutions and other partners, have an essential role in the advancement of knowledge, and at a more fundamental level, even literacy. As parents and policy-makers press for improvements in student achievement and demand that schools prepare children for life in the information age, school libraries are becoming media centres for assisting in student learning. In the US, many reports have confirmed a positive and statistically significant correlation between the size of the school library and library media staff and test scores.

Surprisingly, an accurate count on the number of school libraries, and on the extent of school library services, is not available in Canada. As shown in this report, the available statistics on school libraries are poor and weak. There is a growing need to develop a variety of surveys and relevant indicators to measure whether progress is being made on the many issues highlighted in this report. This report on school libraries is a preliminary step in the process to develop these tools.



Conducted every five years, the Census provides extensive and detailed demographic, social, economic and cultural information on the Canadian population. All Canadian citizens and landed immigrants are surveyed in the Census; a 20% sub-sample of the census population receives a more extensive questionnaire. Variables related to library-based activities covered in the detailed Census questionnaire include respondents’ occupation, place of work, type of employment, number of weeks worked in the year, and employment income.

The 1996 Census and the Labour Force Survey use the 1991 Standard Occupations Classification (SOC) codes. The most relevant occupation codes for the Libraries Project are the following:
F011: Librarians
F111: Library and Archive Technicians and Assistant
B551: Library Clerks
E131: Secondary School Teachers: Secondary school teachers who are heads of departments and high school librarians are classified in this unit group. Examples: high school library teachers, librarian, secondary education.
E132: Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers - OCC
Elementary school librarians are included in this unit group.

The industry data collected by this survey are based on 1980 SIC. The following are the most relevant for this project:
851: Elementary and secondary education
852: Post-secondary non-university education
853: University education
854: Library services

Comparability with the Labour Force Survey:
1) Assignment of Labour Force status - The census has attempted over the past number of years to bring its labour force definition more closely in line with that used by the monthly Labour Force Survey. However, differences to exist between the two sources in the assignment of a labour force activity status. The most significant differences in questions relate to the information used to determine availability for work.
2)Coverage - the LFS excludes persons living on Indian reserves, full-time members of the Armed Forces, people living in institutions, households of diplomatic or other government personnel living outside Canada, as well as persons residing in the Yukon, Nunavut or the NWT.


The purpose of the Centre for Education Statistics (CES) is to develop and carry out a comprehensive program of pan-Canadian education statistics and analysis to support policy decisions and program management.


The Demography Division of Statistics Canada is responsible for various surveys and research relating to demography, including population, household and family projection, population estimates and migration data.


Statistics Canada's General Social Survey (GSS) collected information relating to time use in 1986 (cycle 2), 1992 (cycle 7) and 1998 (cycle 12). The survey interviewed almost 11,000 Canadians aged 15 and over in the 10 provinces and provides information about how people spend their time and who was with them during one day's activities. The target population of the GSS (General Social Survey) consisted of all individuals aged 15 and over living in a private household in one of the ten provinces.

Cycle 2 collected data for persons 15 years of age and older which covered: activities of Canadians over a 24 hour period (identifying each activity done, where, when and with whom), education, occupation and other demographic characteristics of parents and respondent, satisfaction and happiness; language knowledge, current language practices including use in home, at work and at school, change in language use in last five years.

Cycle 7 collected data from persons 15 years of age and older. The core content of time use repeated that of cycle 2 and provided data on the daily activities of Canadians. Question modules were also included on unpaid work activities, cultural activities and participation in sports.

Cycle 12's core content of time use repeated that of cycle 7 (1992) and cycle 2 (1986), and provided data on the daily activities of Canadians. Question modules were also included on unpaid work activities, cultural activities and participation in sports.


The Household Internet Use Survey (HUIS) is administered to a sub-sample of dwellings included in the Labour Force Survey (LFS), and therefore its sample design is closely to tied to that of the LFS. The LFS is a monthly household survey whose sample is representative of the households with civilian, non-institutionalized population, 15 years of age or older in Canada's ten provinces.

Unlike the LFS, where information is collected on each eligible household member individually, the HIUS collected information on the household as a whole. In 1999, 43,043 households were eligible for the HIUS survey. Interviews were completed for 36,241 of these households for a response rate of 84.2%. Results were weighted to the entire count of households.

The annual estimate for the number of households in Canada is projected from the Census of Population. HIUS 1999 used a population projection based on 1996 Census of Population (11,632 households). The survey asked households about their use of the Internet, including location of use.


The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) was initially carried out in seven countries with the goal of directly measuring the literacy skills of the adult population of participating countries in order to create comparable literacy profiles across national, linguistic and cultural boundaries. The seven countries that took part in this survey are: Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. In addition, a number of provinces provided funding for a larger sample in order to allow for analysis of their results.

The level of proficiency in each skill (prose literacy, document literacy and quantitative literacy) was determined using a five-point scale, which assessed abilities and strategies required to succeed at various literacy tasks. The survey combined educational testing techniques with those of household survey research to measure literacy and to provide the information necessary to make these measures meaningful. Respondents were asked a series of questions to obtain background and demographic information on educational attainment, literacy practices at work and at home, labour force information, adult education participation and literacy self-assessment.

The Canadian portion of the study involved a sample of about 5,700 individuals. This sample was drawn from the Labour Force Survey and consisted of the civilians, non-institutionalized population aged 16 to 69. Excluded from the survey’s coverage are residents of the Yukon and Northwest Territories, persons living on Indian reserves, full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces, inmates of institutions, and Francophone residents of the province of Ontario who lived in geographic regions where less than 20 persons were Francophone.


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a household survey carried out each month by Statistics Canada to provide timely, accurate and consistent estimates of the labour market aspects of the economy. The survey divides the population aged 15 and over into three mutually exclusive groups: those who are employed, those who are unemployed and those who are not in the labour force. In addition, data are collected on a wide range of variables concerning the respondents' household, family and individual characteristics including educational attainment, school attendance and number of students.

The sample size of the survey is approximately 58,000 households (or about 110,000 persons) across Canada each month. The survey sample size is large enough to provide accurate and reliable estimates at the jurisdictional and metropolitan levels. Persons younger than 15 years of age, persons living in the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, persons living on Indian reserves, full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and residents of institutions are excluded from the survey.

The 1996 Census and the Labour Force Survey use the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes. The most relevant occupation codes for the Libraries Project are the following:
F011: Librarians
F111: Library and Archive Technicians and Assistant
B551: Library Clerks
E131: Secondary School Teachers: Secondary schol teachers who are heads of departments and high school librarians are classified in this unit group.
E132: Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers - elementary school librarians are included in this unit group.

The industry data collected by this survey are based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The following are the most relevant for this project:

514 Information Services and Data Processing Services
          514121 Libraries and Archives
                         514121 Libraries: this industry comprises                          establishments primarily engaged in maintaining
                         collections and facilitating the use of such
                         documents (regardless of physical form and
                         characteristics) as are required to meet the information,
                         research, educational or recreational
                         needs of their users.

611Educational Services
          61111: Elementary and Secondary schools (Kindergarten
                        through Grade 12)
          61121 Community Colleges and CEGEPS
          61131 Universities

The major problems with using the LFS is that we cannot isolate data on school librarians. As the above codes show, school librarians are classified in the code used for teachers.

A more general problem is that most of the data that would be useful for this study are confidential or unreliable.


The purpose of the National Graduates Survey (NGS), conducted by Statistics Canada under the sponsorship of Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), is to provide information on the integration of recent postsecondary education graduates into the labour market. This included the program or field of study, characteristics of the graduate, characteristics and duration of all jobs held since graduation, employment characteristics, length of job search, match between education and employment, additional education or training that a graduate may have taken since graduating, and the graduate’s earnings, finances and/or loans.

The sample of graduates is designed to provide accurate estimates by province, program and field of study. The 1997 NGS involved 43,000 trade-vocational, college and university graduates. Surveys have been conducted for the 1976, 1980, 1986, 1990 and 1995 graduating classes. Graduates are interviewed two years after graduation and are asked to provide information relating to the period from one year prior to enrolment to the time of interview. Follow-up surveys are also conducted five years after graduation to provide data on the longer-term outcomes for graduates.


The Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES) was designed as an international evaluation of the use of new information and communication technology in elementary and secondary schools. It was conducted in a total of 27 nations, including Canada. In Canada, data collection occurred in January and February 1999.

In Canada, Statistics Canada, under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, conducted the survey. A number of partners were involved in either the funding and/or the conduct of the survey, including provincial ministries of education; the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada; Industry Canada; and Human Resources Development Canada.

The Canadian survey involved 4,000 schools, each of which received two questionnaires, one to be completed by the principal and another to be completed by an individual responsible for technology in the school. Both questionnaires included questions on the school, the use of communication technology, the training and professional development of teachers, and obstacles to the use of technology at the school.

Data are available for both Canada and the provinces for three specific population groups of students: elementary (up to Grade 5), intermediate (up to Grade 9) and secondary (up to Grade 12). The territories did not participate in the survey.


The objective of this survey is to provide statistics on the activities of book publishers and exclusive agents, regardless of the amount of earned revenue. The unit of analysis of this survey is the company. The company reports information on important revenue and expense items, (e.g. type and language of books sold and destination of royalties). Sales by market and customer category are also collected. Analysts can distinguish between the production of own titles and titles distributed for other companies particularly imports. Data on exports are available. In general, data quality is very high and coverage good.


The Survey is a direct voluntary census of all administrative data sources available on federal government expenditures in support of education. The data are used to determine, in detail, direct government financial support for education at all levels by department and by province/territory. These data are used as an input to total expenditures on education in Canada. They are also used to reconcile financial data from other sources.


This data collection project was designed to collect data on federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal government expenditures on culture in Canada in the framework of functional and economic classification. These classifications form a single classification system which indicate the way in which expenditure undertaken by the federal government for a specific function or activity is broken down according to its economic nature.

Limitations include the fact that expenditures data for school, university and college libraries are not reported by some of the provinces. In addition, a small proportion of the total cultural expenditure remains undistributed among cultural activities and is shown under "Other".


The tables contained in this report are, unless otherwise noted, from data collected by Statistics Canada. Sources for each table indicate the name of the specific survey or tool used to collect the data or, when the table is based upon multiple sources, indicate the name of the organisation within Statistics Canada that compiled the data.


The following standard symbols are used in Statistics Canada publications:

..    figures not available

...   figures not appropriate or not applicable

-     nil or zero

- -   amount too small to be expressed

X   confidential to meet secrecy requirements of the Statistics Act

Index to Tables
(Tables can be viewed in PDF format only.)

  1. Full-time/part-time work by occupation, 1991 to 1999 and Labour Force by occupation and industry, Canada. 1996 [PDF 10 KB]
  2. Employment by occupation, 1991 to 1999 and Labour Force by occupation, 1991 to 1999 [PDF 6 KB]
  3. Characteristics of University graduates and Trade and Vocational graduates in Library Science, 1990 and 1995 [PDF 8 KB]
  4. Number of elementary and secondary schools, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 7 KB]
  5. Number of elementary and secondary institutions by size, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 7 KB]
  6. Average enrolment per elementary and secondary institution, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 11 KB]
  7. Number of full-time and part-time educators in elementary and secondary institutions, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 8 KB]
  8. Population projections for 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2021 and 2026, July 1 [PDF 6 KB]
  9. Population projections by age group by province, July 1, 1999 to 2004 [PDF 15 KB]
  10. Average age of full-time elementary and secondary educators, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 6 KB]
  11. Pupil-educator ratio in public elementary and secondary schools, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 6 KB]
  12. Total full-time enrolment in elementary and secondary institutions by province, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 8 KB]
  13. Immigration to Canada, by age group and by region, 1996; and Number of immigrant arrivals, 4 to 24 years old, by region, 1996 [PDF 5 KB]
  14. Elementary and secondary school enrolment by age, 1997
    [PDF 5 KB]
  15. Public expenditures on education, culture and libraries, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 10 KB]
  16. Total expenditure on education by province, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 5 KB]
  17. Elementary and secondary school expenditures by province, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 6 KB]
  18. Elementary and secondary school spending, per student, by province, 1993-94 to 1996-97 [PDF 6 KB]
  19. School board expenditures, by type of expenditure, 1993-94 to 1997-98 [PDF 8 KB]
  20. Market share of government spending, 1993-94 to 1998-99
    [PDF 5 KB]
  21. School library spending by provincial governments, by type of expenditure, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 26 KB]
  22. Municipal government spending on school libraries, by province, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 6 KB]
  23. Elementary and secondary school library spending, per student, by province, 1993-94 to 1998-99 [PDF 13 KB]
  24. Students in elementary and secondary schools using the Internet, by type of activity, 1999 [PDF 5 KB]
  25. Participation in selected cultural activities by Canadians, 15 years of age and over, 1992 and 1998 [PDF 10 KB]
  26. Economic impact of school libraries in Canada, 1994 and 1996 [PDF 5 KB]
  27. Net sales value for total sales of titles (publications) in Canada, 1992 to 1998 [PDF 6 KB]


1 Carole David, Quebec Writers' Union, 21 March 2000. Representation to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Quoted in The Challenge of Change: A Consideration of the Canadian Book Industry, "Chapter Five: Libraries, Preservation and Access", p. 1.

2 Roch Carrier, National Librarian, 2 March 2000. Ibid, p. 1.

3 Under the sponsorship of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) surveyed school libraries in 1993 at the international level. Following the results of this survey, IFLA developed a School Library Manifesto that was ratified by the 30th UNESCO General Conference in 1999.

4 Lance, Keith Curry. The Impact of School Library Media Centers on Academic Achievement, Office of Educational Research, U.S. Dept. of Education, 1994, and Christine Hamilton-Pennell, K.Curry Lance, M. J. Rodney, and E. Hainer, April 1 2000. "Dick and Jayne Go to the Head of the Class", in School Library Journal Online. http://slj.reviewsnews.com/ This study, comparing school library programs in Alaska, Colorado and Pennsylvania found that children's achievement on standardized tests and other academic measures were improved by access to school libraries.

5 Ibid.

6 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, School Library Media Centers: 1993-94. Catalogue No. NCES 98-282.

7 Kristin Rushowy, Toronto Star, 4 March 2001. "School Libraries Cut Hours As Staff Shelved".

8 Ibid.

9 Canadian School Library Association, Canadian Snapshorts: An Informal Cross-Canada Report on the Status of School Libraries in Canada, September 2000.

10 People for Education, 2000. The Tracking Report 2000: The effects of funding and policy changes in Ontario's elementary schools People for Education, 2000.

11 Ibid.

12 "New Librarians: Recent Graduates on Library Studies and Work", Feliciter, Canadian Library Association, Volume 44, Number 9, September l998.

13 LFS data use occupational concepts from the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). Librarians in the SOC are defined as those occupations primarily concerned with developing, organizing and maintaining library collections and providing advisory services for library users (including supervisors or library consultants). Excluded are managers, directors or administrators of libraries, who are grouped as library, archive, museum, and art gallery managers. Elementary and secondary school librarians are classified as teachers. Medical health records librarians are classified with records and file clerks. Computer tape or cassette librarians are classified as computer operators. Additionally, due to the structure of the SOC, the LFS data on library technicians and assistants are aggregated with archival technicians and assistants. As a result, separate breakdowns are not available.

14 Staff FTE (Full-time equivalency) includes paid staff that are full-time, part-time, regular, temporary, casual and student employees.

15 According to the report of the National Core Library Statistics Program, 1996, a librarian is an individual with a Master’s degree from a library education program accredited by the American Library Association or its equivalent. Technicians, for the purposes of the NCLSP data, are para-professional staff members possessing a technical certificate and/or diploma acquired from an accredited Library Technician program. Teacher-Librarians are individuals possessing teaching and/or librarian qualifications who are in charge of a school library and who teach students.

16 Record science programs include medical records science, archive maintenance, museology, art gallery administration, museum curatorship and other records science.

17 Alvin M. Schrader and Brundin, Michael R., National Library of Canada, 1999, National Core Library Statistics Program: Statistical Report 1996 : Cultural and Economic Impact on Canadian Society of Public, Academic, and Special Libraries.

18 People for Education, 2000.

19 Ibid.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 Canadian School Library Association (CSLA)

23 Some figures differ from those found in the Statistics Canada and Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, February 2000, Education Indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program 1999, STC Catalogue no. 81-582-XPE, p. 54. The published figures have since been revised and are reflected in this report.

24 Includes inter-governmental transfers of about $304 million.

25 In this context, culture includes libraries, museums, archives, historic and nature parks, arts education, book and periodical publishing, performing arts, visual arts and crafts, film and video, broadcasting, sound recording, and multiculturalism.

26 People for Education 2000.

27Statistics Canada, Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES), 1999, Centre for Education Statistics

28 Ibid.

29 Ibid.

30 Electronic Publications Pilot 1996/97, Final Report, Catalogue no. 11-534-RPE, Statistics Canada, May 1999. In 1996-1997, the Electronic Publications Pilot (EPP) study gathered information on how Depository Service Program (DSP) libraries and their clients are adapting to the Internet

31 Industry Canada’s SchoolNet program is in conjunction with the provincial Ministries of Education. Although comprehensive information on the connectivity of all Canadian school libraries to the Internet is currently not available, the SchoolNet program under Industry Canada maintains data for libraries under provincial jurisdiction.

32 Statistics Canada, Household Internet Use Survey, 2000. See CANSIM II table 358-0002.

33 A Sense of Place  -  A Sense of Being, Ninth Report, Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, House of Commons, June 1999.

34 Vivian Shalla and Grant Schellenberg, 1998, Statistics Canada and Human Resources Development Canada, The Value of Words: Literacy and Economic Security in Canada. See www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/89F0100XIE/value.htm.