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1998-09: Crane Leadership and Autonomy Support against University Changes

WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE) is Canada's largest advocacy and consumer organization of blind and visually impaired persons, and

WHEREAS many of our members are users of the Crane Library and Resource Centre at the University of British Columbia, either as students in attendance there, as distance users attending other educational institutions or as lifetime users of the collection and materials in alternate formats via community libraries or service agencies, and

WHEREAS we are aware of the pioneering and unique support services developed at Crane which have placed the University of British Columbia at the forefront of accommodations for persons needing alternatives to print and which have earned for Crane broad international recognition as a true Centre of Excellence, and which is attracting students and visitors from other countries, and

WHEREAS we have learned with shock and great dismay that the position of Director of the Crane Resource Centre and Library, held since 1968 by Paul E. Thiele, will be abandoned effective March 1, 1998 and Mr. Thiele is to be reassigned to the lower rank of Advisor in the UBC Disability Resource Centre, now therefore

BE IT RESOLVE D by the National Federation of the Blind Advocates for Equality in convention assembled, this 28th day of February, 1998, in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, that this organization decries this most ill timed and ill-advised decision which sends a very negative message to the disabled community in general and the visually impaired population in particular; and that we ask the President of the University, Dr. Martha Piper and the Board of Governors to reverse this decision and to reinstate Mr. Thiele immediately in the Position of Director, Crane Library and Resource Centre because we feel that Crane must continue to have strong, experienced and respected leadership in order to fulfil its mandate and to continue its strategic development and planned growth. We ask further that Crane should continue to maintain a separate and distinct role and function from the UBC Disability Resource Centre;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if the University does not respond favourably to our request, we will take this issue to the media.