I got an email from the CNIB begging me to join their “Right to Read” campaign. But they really need to change the campaign’s name to be more honest. It’s the “Save the CNIB library” campaign. That’s what it is, and all it is.
First, let me say that I do appreciate the CNIB library. It has allowed me to get my mitts on a lot of books that just haven’t been converted into mainstream audio. They do have some stuff in braille that you can’t get any other way. Years ago, they were the only place I could go to get books, magazines, all that stuff. It would suck if the CNIB library disappeared, especially for people who don’t have the internet or knowledge of where to look for information.
But they shouldn’t think for a second that they are the only way for us to get our hands on things. This is why the campaign to save the library is not synonymous with saving my “right to read”.
The other reason saving the library is not the same as safeguarding our right to read is because our right to read is being placed in a lot greater jeopardy by the proposed copyright laws, and the actions of the Author’s Guild, who want to block audio-reading on devices like the Kindle. If the CNIB really wanted to protect our right to read, they would be actively lobbying against the new digital restrictions. They wouldn’t just be begging for money, like they always do.
This campaign looks positively pathetic. How do they hope to ask for government funding? By having us send letters to the Prime minister, and each provincial premier. Uh, and that will get exactly no attention. How about sending it to relevant ministers, like those who deal with education and employment, or anyone who believes literacy is a concern? How about doing some actual work instead of splattering it at the highest point? That’s like barging into a newspaper, walking up to the top editor and saying “I have a story for you!” You’ll likely get allowed to finish your thought, and then ushered to the door, thanked for your time, and promptly ignored.
And, isn’t this a bad time to ask for money? It’s been made clear by government that they will not be planning any new spending. If anything, there will be cuts. So if the CNIB wasn’t already going to be ignored because of this ineffective campaign strategy, they will be ignored because of their poor timing.
The way they have the page set up, they ask for your information so they can put it on a form letter. But you don’t get to see what the letter says before you give them your information. There was no way in hell I was writing down my info, and then finding out I couldn’t stand the message. They did say you could write your own custom message, but I wasn’t sure how customizable it was.
Ug. I know they need the money, and it would totally suck to lose easy access to braille. I just wish they’d be honest about it, instead of getting all altruistic and saying they’re fighting for our right to read. No, they’re fighting for the means to exist!