Monthly Archives: February 2013

BCLA Press Release on the Dale Askey / McMaster / Edwin Mellen Lawsuit

Press Release                                              For Immediate Release                                             13.02.2013

The British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) is extremely concerned about the unwarranted and frivolous lawsuits that Edwin Mellen Press has filed against Associate University Librarian Dale Askey and against McMaster University.

Edwin Mellen Press alleges that that comments made by Mr. Askey on his personal blog regarding the quality of their publications were defamatory, and are seeking a total of $4.5 million dollars in damages to compensate for injury to their reputation.

As a professional librarian engaged in collection development Mr. Askey is both qualified and obliged to make decisions about published materials.  Central to this issue is Mr. Askey’s academic freedom which should ensure that he, as well as fellow academic librarians, has the ability to freely speak, write, review and evaluate as professionals without fear of reprisal, litigation, or control by vendors, employers or other external bodies.

As a citizen in a democratic society Mr. Askey is free to have and share his opinions with his community, society and country. Sharing and debating perspectives without fear of recrimination is the hallmark of a healthy democratic society peopled by engaged citizens.

Librarians and information workers uphold the rights of all community members to express a critical view about the value of a book or other information materials. This includes a librarian’s own right to do the same. Every citizen should be able to express an opinion without fear of litigation should they offend an author or publisher. By filing lawsuits against Mr. Askey and McMaster University Edwin Mellen Press is attempting to create a climate of fear among librarians, information workers, and all libraries that may critique their product.

BCLA condemns the misuse of the court process to intimidate libraries, librarians and information workers from discharging their professional obligations and from demonstrating one of the library’s core responsibilities to uphold the right of freedom of thought and expression.

BCLA urges Edwin Mellen Press to withdraw its lawsuits and instead engage in a debate, a conversation or a discussion with the library community in order to build a healthy society that reflects a myriad of opinions held by diverse community members.

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Nominations open for the ALPS Award for Outstanding Service 2013

Established in 2002, the Academic Librarians in Public Service (ALPS) Award for Outstanding Service is presented to an academic public service librarian, or team of same, whose outstanding service has made a real difference to students, faculty, or colleagues in British Columbia.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the ALPS Award for Outstanding Service 2013.  The nomination form is attached (in both Word and PDF formats) and the deadline is Friday, March 15, 2013.  Forms can be submitted via email to Danielle Winn at danielle.winn@ubc.ca.

We look forward to hearing about your outstanding colleagues!

You can find the ALPS Nomination Form here: http://www.bcla.bc.ca/alps/ALPS award/2013_ALPS _Award_Nomination_Form.doc

The award will be presented at this year’s BC Library Conference in Richmond, BC. For more information or to register for the conference, see: http://www.bclibraryconference.ca/.

Please be sure to include the following information:

  • Name of nominator
  • Name of nominee
  • Project or reason for nomination
  • Contact information for nominator in case we need to follow up

Criteria for nomination could include:

  • Demonstrated (through example and/or statistics) impact on students, colleagues, or the library
  • Demonstrated collaboration with colleagues or other institutions
  • Worthy of inspiring similar efforts within the profession

We look forward to hearing about your outstanding colleagues!

Latest Edition of ALPS Yodeler

In case you missed it, you can access the newest edition of the ALPS Yodeler by clicking here.