Author Archives: Lauren MacLean

“Um…About that American Libraries Article We Wrote”

After their article in American Libraries was edited after the authors (thought they) turned in the final draft, Stewart Varner and Patricia Hswe wanted to clarify a few things.

“We feel used; like our article was turned into a vehicle for a commercial message and that we were deceived into signing off on it. We are also personally and professionally embarrassed that thousands of readers will see the article but never find this blog post. What will they think of our ethics? Whose side will they think we are on?”

See Stewart and Patricia’s post from Stewart’s blog for more information on this article and for information on where to find the original version.

Second Call for Proposals CAPAL16: BEYOND THE LIBRARY: AGENCY, PRACTICE, AND SOCIETY

Deadline for Proposals extended to January 15th, 2016

Second Call for Proposals

CAPAL16: BEYOND THE LIBRARY: AGENCY, PRACTICE, AND SOCIETY

CAPAL/ACBAP Annual Conference – May 28–June 3, 2016

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016

University of Calgary

Calgary, Alberta

The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) invites participation in its annual conference, to be held as part of Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016 at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (http://congress2016.ca/). The conference offers opportunity to share critical research and scholarship, challenge current thinking, and forge new relationships across all disciplines.

THEME

In keeping with the Congress 2016 theme, Energizing Communities, CAPAL16 seeks to look “Beyond the Library” to rethink how academic librarians engage with their communities within which our institutions are situated or those with whom we share disciplinary concerns or approaches. Such communities may be physical, epistemic, academic, or imagined communities, communities of identity, or those communities around us and to which we contribute.

What can the discipline of library and information studies (LIS) learn from other disciplines?  What might LIS as an interdisciplinary field look like?  Where and how should academic librarianship be situated within and in relation to other communities? 

RATIONALE

Like any institution, academic libraries both reflect and help shape the societies of which they are part. It is therefore critical for academic librarians to consider how they and their work are situated – professionally, ontologically, ethically, epistemologically, and physically. As social agents, we share and occupy socio-economic, political, and technological spaces in our efforts to provide diverse, high quality, informational resources and critical education within a contemporary (i.e., neoliberal) legal and economic framework.

In such an environment, effecting change requires seeking out, examining, and engaging with new ideas, approaches, theories, communities, understandings, and ways of knowing, which, themselves, may fall outside the traditional boundaries of the discipline of library and information studies. We need to move our lines of inquiry “beyond the library”–physically and intellectually–into new arenas and new communities. This conference is an invitation to academic librarians and scholars who study libraries and information to discuss how we can reframe academic librarianship: in practice, in policy, in theory, and in society.

Potential topic areas include but are not limited to:

  • Academic librarianship in the context of urgent socio-political priorities, such as climate change, environmental sustainability, and social equity;
  • The relationship between academic librarianship and democracy;
  • Academic librarianship and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples;
  • Indigenizing, decolonizing, diversity, and inclusion in academic librarianship;
  • The philosophical bases of academic librarianship in social theory;
  • The history of academic librarianship and the role of academic librarians in the academy;
  • The potentially biased treatment of controversial issues and scholarly debates in knowledge organization and information retrieval systems;
  • The sociology of knowledge mobilization;
  • Academic librarianship and its relationship to the design of user spaces;
  • Academic librarianship’s response to privacy and security in the “post-Snowden” era;
  • Community development, “town-gown” relationships, and academic librarianship;
  • Core values of academic librarianship in mediated spaces;
  • Critical theory, interdisciplinary approaches and subject expertise in LIS education for academic librarians.

 SUBMISSION INFORMATION

The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as proposals for panel submissions of three papers. Individual papers are typically 20 minutes in length. For individual papers, please submit an abstract of 300 words and a presentation title, with brief biographical statement and your contact information. For complete panels, please submit a panel abstract of 300 words as well as a list of all participants and brief biographical statements, and a separate abstract of 300 words for each presenter. Please identify and provide participants’ contact information for the panel organizer. International proposals and proposals from non-members and students are welcome.

Please feel free to contact the Program Committee to discuss a topic for a paper, panel, or other session format. Proposals should be emailed as an attachment as a doc. or docx. file, using the following filename format:

Lastname_Keywordoftopic.docx

Proposals and questions should be directed to the Program Chairs:

Michael Dudley:          m.dudley@uwinnipeg.ca

John Wright:                jpwright@ucalgary.ca

PLG Edmonton AGM is TONIGHT – 7PM at the Strathcona Branch

Our Annual General Meeting will be held tonight, Tuesday December 15, 2015 at 7pm, on the second floor of the Strathcona Branch of the Edmonton Public Library. The main focus of the AGM is to elect officers for the coming year. Nominations are now open for the following positions:
Secretary   The duties of the Secretary are as follows: to prepare meeting agendas, to provide access to meeting minutes, to manage chapter records, and to act as the liaison with the main PLG.
Treasurer   The duties of the Treasurer are as follows: to manage the chapter’s bank account, to provide financial reports at each general meeting, to collect dues and arrange payment of national dues if necessary.
Communications Officer   The duties of the Communications position are as follows: to manage the chapter’s email and web presence, to manage the chapter’s listserv, and to act as the main contact for public inquiries.
Nominations will be open until the AGM, at which time we will hold the election. Current PLG members can nominate themselves or others for any of the positions. The current officers will also be presenting their annual reports. The AGM is a great opportunity for new members to get involved and get up to speed on what the group has done this past year!
We look forward to seeing you at the AGM!
If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about this email, please feel free to contact us at plg.edmonton@gmail.com

Reminder: PLG Edmonton AGM December 15, 2015

Our Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday December 15, 2015 at 7pm, on the second floor of the Strathcona Library. The main focus of the AGM is to elect officers for the coming year. Nominations are now open for the following positions:
Secretary   The duties of the Secretary are as follows: to prepare meeting agendas, to provide access to meeting minutes, to manage chapter records, and to act as the liaison with the main PLG.
Treasurer   The duties of the Treasurer are as follows: to manage the chapter’s bank account, to provide financial reports at each general meeting, to collect dues and arrange payment of national dues if necessary.
Communications Officer   The duties of the Communications position are as follows: to manage the chapter’s email and web presence, to manage the chapter’s listserv, and to act as the main contact for public inquiries.
Nominations will be open until the AGM, at which time we will hold the election. Current PLG members can nominate themselves or others for any of the positions. The current officers will also be presenting their annual reports. The AGM is a great opportunity for new members to get involved and get up to speed on what the group has done this past year!
We look forward to seeing you at the AGM!
If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about this email, please feel free to contact us at plg.edmonton@gmail.com

Information Policies Under the Harper Government Part 6: Spectrum Auctions and Giveaways to PKP

One Line Description: The Harper Government’s attempt to create a 4th national cellphone provider also includes giving away spectrum licenses for bargain basement prices to a company headed by the leader of the Parti Quebecois.

Short Description: In an effort to encourage more competition in the cellphone industry, the Harper Government designed a recent spectrum auction (AWS-3) to ensure that Bell, Rogers, and Telus would be prevented from getting access to spectrum. Unfortunately, it also resulted in Videotron, a subsidiary of Quebecor Inc., whose majority owner is Pierre Karl Peladeau, leader of the Parti Quebecois, getting spectrum to serve nearly 10 million Canadians for $31.8 million, just $1.4 million more than the minimum bid price.[1]

Details: Despite Industry Canada’s spectrum policy of relying on market forces to the maximum extent possible,[2] the 2015 AWS-3 spectrum auction was jerry rigged to ensure that Bell, Telus and Rogers would be prevented from acquiring large swaths of spectrum. While Bragg Communications (Eastlink) and Wind both benefited from this design, Videotron was another big winner. Videotron got 4 licenses (Eastern Quebec, Southern Quebec, Eastern Ontario and Outaouais, and Northern Ontario) for 30 MHz of spectrum in each of these regions.[3] While Videotron paid $31.8 million, the opening bid pricing for these four licenses totalled $30.4 billion, meaning the licenses were obtained at nearly the opening bid price. Most troublesome, Videotron is owned by Quebecor, whose primary owner is Pierre Karl Peladeau (better known as PKP) who also happens to lead the Parti Quebecois (PQ).[4] Strangely the drive to improve consumer choice also means handing over valuable spectrum to a company owned by a man who wants to break up the federation.

[1] Industry Canada. “AWS-3 Final Results.” http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10954.html ; and Industry Canada. Technical, Policy and Licensing Framework for the Advanced Wireless Services in the Bands 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz (AWS-3). http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10911.html

[2] Industry Canada. Spectrum Policy Framework for Canada. p. 9. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/vwapj/spf2007e.pdf/$FILE/spf2007e.pdf

[3] Industry Canada. “AWS-3 Final Results.” http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10954.html

[4] Industry Canada. “AWS-3 Final Results.” http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10954.html ; and Industry Canada. Technical, Policy and Licensing Framework for the Advanced Wireless Services in the Bands 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz (AWS-3). http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10911.html ; and CRTC “Quebecor Profile” http://www.crtc.gc.ca/ownership/eng/cht156.pdf

PLG Edmonton Annual General Meeting – December 15, 2015

Our Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday December 15, 2015 at 7pm, on the second floor of the Strathcona Library. The main focus of the AGM is to elect officers for the coming year. Nominations are now open for the following positions:
Secretary   The duties of the Secretary are as follows: to prepare meeting agendas, to provide access to meeting minutes, to manage chapter records, and to act as the liaison with the main PLG.
Treasurer   The duties of the Treasurer are as follows: to manage the chapter’s bank account, to provide financial reports at each general meeting, to collect dues and arrange payment of national dues if necessary.
Communications Officer   The duties of the Communications position are as follows: to manage the chapter’s email and web presence, to manage the chapter’s listserv, and to act as the main contact for public inquiries.
Nominations will be open until the AGM, at which time we will hold the election. Current PLG members can nominate themselves or others for any of the positions. The current officers will also be presenting their annual reports. The AGM is a great opportunity for new members to get involved and get up to speed on what the group has done this past year!
We look forward to seeing you at the AGM!
If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about this email, please feel free to contact us at plg.edmonton@gmail.com

Free trade agreement poses threat to a free internet

“After years of secrecy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement has finally been released to the public. The shadowy process and overreaching scope of the deal have sparked an international outcry; it’s been roundly condemned as an attack on worker’s rights, the environment, public health, small businesses and startups. But perhaps the biggest concern is over the impact that it will have on the internet….The final version of TPP confirms advocates’ worst fears. Thanks to, among other things, its dramatic expansion of copyright enforcement, the agreement poses a grave threat to our basic right to access information and express ourselves on the web, and could easily be abused to criminalize common online activities and enforce widespread internet censorship.”
The opinion piece “The clock is ticking on a time bomb that could blow up a free internet: the TPP” is available on The Guardian’s website:

Remembering Lives Lost and Uncounted

Remembrance Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by serving members of the armed forces in duty to their Commonwealth countries. This includes dedicated careers, the deterioration of mental and emotional health, and loss of lives. While the stated reasons for these sacrifices have varied according to governing parties, November 11 is a time to recognize that individuals chose (and continue to choose) to make sacrifices for the sake of improving society as a whole. To this end, the League of Nations (LON) and United Nations (UN) were established to prevent the horrors and losses of the First and Second World Wars from happening again.

However, the LON and UN created more than an era of relative peace: they initiated a system of comparative international statistics. The 20th century marks our first opportunity to reliably compare indicators of health, finance, labour, education, and gender across nations. Over time, these statistics have shown us which programs alleviate poverty and which do not.

Naturally, this system is only as good as the statistical capacity of its member governments. For many years, Canada was considered a leader in this area, with our statisticians playing key roles in the development of programs that came to define organizations like the United Nations Development Programme. This standing and capacity has been all but destroyed over the past ten years under Harper’s Conservatives. For many, the death knell of Canada’s reputation for statistical capacity was marked by the cancellation of the long-form census in 2011.

Happily, the Liberals have announced the return of the long-form census. This is a common sense response to the deeply flawed and much more expensive National Household Survey that was introduced by the Conservatives.

We should be grateful for this reinstatement of sanity, but we should also remember what was lost. Thousands were uncounted in 2011, making it difficult and often impossible for organizations from all sectors to make informed decisions about their programs and services (this damage is well documented elsewhere: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/cities-footing-the-bill-for-data-gap-after-long-form-census-scrapped/article22695286/). Moving forward, these five years will remain a black hole for comparable statistics from and for Canada.

Perhaps more importantly, we should remember why the 2011 census was lost. The census was lost because Canadians elected a government that placed the needs of the individual, as well as an uninformed obsession with frugality, above the needs of society as a whole. It demonstrates a lack of respect for the social contract underlying governance in a liberal democracy. Serving members of the armed forces understand the need for individuals to make sacrifices for a greater good. Let’s make sure they have leaders that understand this too.

Never again.

For more commentary on the return of the long-form census in Canada, see:

Breaking news and analysis from the world of science policy
http://news.sciencemag.org/policy/2015/11/canada-expected-reinstate-mandatory-census

The Liberals Just Restored Canada’s Long-Form Census. Here’s Why That Matters
http://www.desmog.ca/2015/11/05/liberals-just-restored-canada-s-long-form-census-here-s-why-matters