Team Harpy

17 Oct

We, the librarians and archivists of the Library Chapter of the York University Faculty Association, call on Joe Murphy to drop the $1.25 million lawsuit he has initiated against Lisa Rabey and our York University colleague, nina de jesus.  As librarians and archivists, we are committed to the principles of openness and constructive dialogue about the issue of sexual harassment in our profession, and believe that using the legal system to attack Rabey and de jesus serves only to circumvent those useful and necessary discussions and further silences victims of harassment.   We extend our support and solidarity to our colleagues, and call upon other librarians and thinking people to do the same, by donation, sharing information and/or signing the petition. More information on #teamharpy can be found at the Team Harpy web site and in the Team Harpy FAQ.

YUFA librarians will refrain from acquiring titles published by Edwin Mellen …

26 Feb

WHEREAS, Edwin Mellen Press continues to litigate against Dale Askey and McMaster University; and

WHEREAS, We understand such litigation to be an attack on freedom of expression; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That YUFA librarians will refrain from acquiring titles published by Edwin Mellen until such time as Edwin Mellen ceases its litigation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That YUFA librarians urge Kansas State University and McMaster University to defray in full Mr. Askey’s legal fees in recognition of their institutional obligation to protect the academic freedom of faculty and librarians.

Passed by the Library Chapter of the York University Faculty Association, 26 February 2013.

Dale Askey is being sued

8 Feb

Edwin Mellen Press is suing our colleague Dale Askey (associate university librarian at McMaster University in Hamilton) twice, once alone and once with McMaster itself, for comments he made on his blog in 2010 about the quality of Edwin Mellen publications.

Dale Askey said in an email interview that it was “my job to assess the quality of books, and I did so based on many years of experience in the field… As a qualified and experienced librarian, I was sharing a professional opinion for consumption by peers.”

Dale Askey has the freedom to comment on publishers and the quality of their publications. We librarians and archivists, members of the library chapter of the York University Faculty Association, fully support him in his exercise of academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Related links:

Who Speaks for Libraries and Librarians?

5 Feb

Lisa Sloniowski has posted the text of her talk at the CAUT Librarians Conference in Ottawa last October: Who Speaks for Libraries and Librarians?

Contested Terrain: Shaping the Future Academic Librarianship

19 Dec

Four York librarians were at the October 2012 CAUT Librarians conference, “Contested Terrain: Shaping the Future Academic Librarianship.” Lisa Sloniowski (with Jennifer Dekker from the University of Ottawa) gave a talk called “Who Speaks for Libraries + Librarians?” Three others attended and wrote conference reports: Mary Kandiuk, Marcia Salmon and Nick Ruest.

Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL)

19 Dec

[This is a reposting of an announcement that has been sent to several mailing lists. Two York librarians, Mary Kandiuk and Stephen Spong, are on the CAPAL organizing committee.]

Dear Academic Librarian Colleagues,

We are writing to share with you information about a new, national non-profit membership organization that is being created to promote, advance and support the profession of academic librarianship and to further the professional interests of academic librarians in Canada: the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL). After the November 18, 2011 Symposium, “Academic Librarianship: A Crisis or an Opportunity” held at the University of Toronto, there was a clear directive from those attending that there was a need for a strong, vocal and pro-active association to support the interests of academic librarians in Canada.

While we share many values and goals with librarian colleagues working in other sectors we believe that there is a need for an association focused specifically on the unique concerns of academic librarianship. To this end, we define professional academic librarians as those colleagues with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (or from a program in a country with a formal accreditation process as identified by ALA’s Human Resource Development and Recruitment Office) who work at, or aspire to work at, degree-granting post-secondary institutions.

Since the fall symposium, a small working group has started to lay the foundation for such an association. Three documents, a Mission Statement, a Terms of Reference and Academic Librarianship: A Statement of Principles have been prepared in anticipation of the creation of this organization. A website has been created and a membership page has been set up in Eventbrite. Interested members can join the association and at that time indicate their willingness to join committees that reflect the interests of our community. In the hope of fostering a strong new generation of professionals, we have also made provisions for the establishment of a student committee which will act as an active liaison between the organization and future academic librarians-in-training.

In the first year we will need to build and strengthen our infrastructure, working with our committees to identify and set priorities, and to begin to lay the groundwork for future plans. The first membership meeting is being planned for the end of January in Toronto. We hope you will join us!

Website address:

Eventbrite address:

Email for CAPAL:

Members of the Organizing Committee

Call for Proposals for Forthcoming Book: In Solidarity: Academic Librarian Labour Activism and Union Participation in Canada

12 Dec

Call for Proposals for Forthcoming Book: In Solidarity: Academic Librarian Labour Activism and Union Participation in Canada


  • Jennifer Dekker, University of Ottawa (
  • Mary Kandiuk, York University (

PUBLISHER: Library Juice Press



With a focus on Canada, this collection will document the labour-related struggles and gains of academic librarians. It will provide historical and current perspectives regarding the unionization of academic librarians, an exploration of the major labour issues affecting academic librarians in both certified and non-certified union contexts, as well as case studies relating to the unionization of academic librarians at selected institutions. The volume will strive to include a broad representation of academic librarian labour activists and those who have rallied to the support of academic librarians in the workplace.


This edited collection will gather the common experiences of Canadian academic librarians and situate them in a national framework with respect to unionization. It will examine the issues that have led to the formal organization of academic librarians, the gains that have been achieved, and the ramifications of those gains. A limited number of chapters exploring relevant issues from a non-Canadian perspective are also being sought in order to provide insight and comparisons in a broader context.


The editors invite chapters that describe activities undertaken by academic librarians, unions, and related associations that further the goals of librarians in the academy from a labour perspective.

Examples of topics that would be of particular interest to the editors include:

  • Academic freedom cases involving U.S. academic librarians, for the purpose of comparing these to the Canadian setting;
  • Librarians and governance on Canadian and / or U.S .campuses;
  • Faculty or academic status of librarians in the U.S., including a comparison with Canada;
  • Successful mobilization or political strategies for unionization or labour actions of academic librarians;
  • Case studies of academic librarians asserting their collective rights in such a way that might provide inspiration or guidance for other groups;Labour action or the experience of strike within the academic library environment.

In particular, the editors would like to encourage chapters that explore the experiences of academic librarians from a labour perspective using a methodological framework as appropriate. Proposals that examine the issues from a theoretical framework are also welcome.


The editors believe that this book will be of interest to academic librarians, labour historians, and those interested in academic labour or unionization of library workers.


Authors are invited to submit abstracts and proposals of 300-500 words to and by January 15, 2013. Notifications will be sent by February 1, 2013. A draft manuscript ranging from 1,500-7,000 words will be due by June 1, 2013. Submitted manuscripts must not have been published previously or simultaneously submitted elsewhere. Following review, articles will be returned via e-mail for revision before final acceptance. All materials will be edited as necessary for clarity. All submissions should include at the beginning an abstract of no more than 150 words, highlighting the scope, methodology, and conclusions of the paper. Authors should follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2010). We welcome contributions from scholars and practitioners alike. If you wish to discuss your contribution please feel free to contact us.

Submission of proposals should include:

  • Name of author
  • Title
  • Affiliation
  • Contact information
  • 300-500 word abstract

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.