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2020-05-16 02:43 pm


 Librarians are the secret masters of the world.
They control information.
Don't ever piss one off.
                                          — Spider Robinson

Welcome to my library blog.  It is my intention to provide readers with information about various challenges and initiatives taking place in the world of libraries.  I will highlight the news I feel is most interesting on my main page, but please feel free to read the News, Reviews and More feeds for yourself! I will also occasionally add notes on my own experiences in librarianship.  

I am an academic librarian working at a Canadian college.

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2013-09-13 09:14 pm
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Canadian Provincial Level Law Links


Federation of Law Societies of Canada


The Law Society of Upper Canada






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2012-06-18 12:59 pm

Need to save a library?

Award-winning book-burning hoax saves Troy, MI libraries

By Cory Doctorow at 12:55 pm Saturday, Jun 16

The Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide agency has won a gold prize in the Effie awards for their hoax "Book Burning Party" campaign, which is credited with saving the public library in Troy, MI. Michigan's extreme austerity measures and collapsing economy had put the library under threat, and the town proposed a 0.7% tax raise to keep it open. The local Tea Party spent a large sum of money opposing the measure on the grounds that all taxes are bad, so the Burnett campaign reframed the issue by creating a hoax campaign to celebrate the library's closure with a Book Burning Party a few days after the vote.

Read more at the original link:

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2012-06-15 02:02 pm

Re-copyrighting public domain materials, what?!

Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Public Domain Works

By David Kravets   
January 18, 2012  1:56 pm

Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

In a 6-2 ruling, the court said that, just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.”

The top court was ruling on a petition by a group of orchestra conductors, educators, performers, publishers and film archivists who urged the justices to reverse an appellate court that ruled against the group, which has relied on artistic works in the public domain for their livelihoods.

Read more at the original link:

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2012-06-11 01:00 pm

Canada reading map: find a book set near you

Home link:

This website logs books connected to locations across Canada: fiction and non-fiction books are listed on a map of Canada based on the setting within the story or the book's content.

Very cool!
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2012-06-01 11:01 am

U of Ottawa Professors' Union rejects AC model licence

Dear Jean-Yves Leduc and Leslie Weir,
Thank you for your time in presenting the developing situation with respect to copyright, over the course of meetings held with the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) in April and May 2012.

Following discussions with you and having consulted with members and experts of our university community, we encourage the university to operate independently and not sign the recent copyright model licence as negotiated between the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and Access Copyright.

Read more at the original link:

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2012-06-01 10:29 am

ACCC makes model license deal with Access Copyright - Howard Knopf

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges has just struck a deal with Access Copyright. It is similar to the AUCC deal - with one big difference. It’s for $10 per student per year and not $26 as per AUCC and $27.50 as per UofT/UWO. Here’s the model license.

So why the difference? AC has suddenly and conveniently determined that “Although we have little data regarding digital copying on campuses, historical coursepack usage data indicates that universities copy 2.6 times more than colleges.”

This appears to justify why the ACCC license is for $10 and the AUCCC model license is for $26. But is there any evidence to support either figure?

Read more at the original link:
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2012-05-24 01:08 pm

Reasons why universities should not sign the AC/AUCC model licence

Michael Geist provides solid reasons why universities and colleges should avoid this agreement.

Copyright has emerged as a hot issue on Canadian university campuses in recent weeks as schools consider whether to sign the Access Copyright model licence negotiated with the AUCC.  Several schools, including UBC, Athabasca, Windsor, and Winnipeg have already indicated that they will not sign the licence, while others (such as Queen's, Victoria and Calgary) have reluctantly signed the letter of intent. Many groups have voiced their strong objection to the licence, including the CAUT, APLA, BCLA, MLA, CFS, and CASA. These groups represent faculty, students, and librarians - the three groups within education most affected by the model licence.

Last week, I was asked by the Association of Professors Ottawa, the University of Ottawa faculty union, for my views. I opened my remarks by emphasizing a key misconception often fueled by Access Copyright and its supporters. The question being faced by the universities is not whether to pay for copyright works. Universities, faculty and students currently spend millions of dollars every year on copyright materials and will continue to do so. The only question is whether - in addition to existing expenditures on books, licences, and in support of open access - they should also pay the $26 per student fee to Access Copyright. 

I believe the answer is no for the following six key reasons:

Read more at the original link:
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2012-05-10 02:04 pm
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ABC Copyright Conference in Ottawa - June 4 & 5

If you can, consider attending the ABC Copyright Conference in Ottawa!

Howard Knopf and Sam Trosow will be speaking!

"This year’s theme is particularly apt. In addition to 2011-12 having been a year full of developments and changes in Canadian copyright law and policy, this is the first year the Conference will be held outside the West! We are looking forward to discussing the following topics:

Fair dealing;
The interplay between copyright and academic freedom
 An update on the Access Copyright tariff proceedings
 An open forum on copyright questions
 Best practices in educating users about copyright
 Copyright and orphan works.

Sessions will run all day on the 4th and the 5th, with a cocktail reception and dinner  on the evening of the 4th on the rooftop patio at the beautiful National Arts Centre, just across the canal from the University."

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2012-05-09 02:34 pm

Help save Library and Archives Canada!

With federal cuts threatening the basic operations of Library and Archives Canada, it is essential that everyone speak out!  You can send a pre-written letter to the Hon. James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.  It takes 2 minutes of your time!

If you want more information on the campaign to save LAC, please go to the following website:

Let your family and friends know about this, and ask them for help!
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2012-05-02 01:33 pm

Federal libraries, archives shutting down - CBC

The federal government is eliminating a series of libraries and archives throughout different departments as part of the latest budget cuts.

Library and Archives Canada alone has received or will still receive more than 500 surplus notices and the department announced 20 per cent of its workforce would be let go.

The cuts to the government's archival collections stretch beyond just one department, though. Libraries at the transport, immigration and public works departments will be eliminated.

Read more at the original link:

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2012-05-01 10:36 pm

Silence in the library - sort of...

Dear Library Computer Lab User #1

I realize it is distracting/annoying to have a crying baby in the computer lab.  Especially when it is otherwise so quiet here this week during interterm.  However:

1) The computer lab is NOT a silent study area.  As a matter of fact, when it is full of students it is much noisier, and I've seen you using the facility during these much busier times without incident.

2) Based on point 1, I have no basis on which to ask the young single mother to leave, since she is a student as well (a very harried one, at that).  Trust me, if I did, I would not have waited the 15 minutes it took you to come and speak to me, to ask her to successfully shush her child or leave.

3) When I've told you there is nothing I can do, you don't need to ask the person working with me the same thing, because you'll get the same answer.

4) When you've gotten the same answer from my work-mate, and you've left the computer lab in a huff, you aren't going to get anywhere by demanding to speak to the library manager.  Really.

Love Tolerantly yours,

Ms. Atoz

Dear Library Computer Lab User #2

Yes, as a student you do have the right to use the computer lab.  And yes, you may bring your kid with you.  I know your face and I know how hard you work; I have nothing but respect for someone who is pushing themself through a very demanding program AND raising a toddler.  I can only presume that you could not get a babysitter and had to attempt to get some work done today regardless.  However, I would respectfully suggest that the next time you need to use a school computer and bring your very vocal son with you, you may want to use one of the computer labs that are not attached to the library.  While we are not a silent study zone, we are still part of the library (i.e. a dedicated study area).  The other students do expect quiet, if not silence.


Ms. Atoz
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2012-04-30 02:17 pm

National Library of Ireland - selected archived photos online

Check out the "A Year in the Life" photo album from the National Library of Ireland!

"We've uploaded a photo every day since May/June 2011 that was taken on that date (day & month)! Now that we're at the end of April 2012, we have a full year of Ireland's photographic history to view. The earliest photograph from our collections in this Year in the Life set dates from 10 November 1863..."

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2012-04-27 06:55 pm

Cuts to CAP grants could mean less access to the internet for library users

As part of trimming the federal budget, funding has been cut to Community Access Program grants.  These grants help bring internet access to members of society who cannot afford (or are otherwise unable) to have access at home.  Libraries across Canada are looking for wiggle-room in their budgets to keep the service available, but ultimately this will lead to unequal access from region to region. Take a look at some of the affected communities:

Original Link:

LPL board upset over CAP funding cancellation

By Mallory Clarkson/London Community News/Twitter: @MalloryClarkson

Following the cancellation of a federal funding program, a member of the London Public Library (LPL) Board said the organization’s resources are going to be thinned to fill the void.

Jerry Colwell, LPL board member and the director of client services at Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre, added the cancellation of the Community Access Program (CAP) grant — which was launched in 1995 to maximize the accessibility of computers and the Internet at pubic access points, like the library, across Canada — will have a significant impact that will be felt across the city.

Read more at the original link:


Feds slash public access funding


Federal budget cuts aimed at the Burns Lake Public Library's public access computers could mean locals will no longer have access to free internet time at the library.

Head librarian Elaine Wiebe said the eight public access computer stations are well used by the public and losing the $3,400 in annual funding will be a big financial blow to the library's budget.

Industry Canada cancelled its public computer funding on March 31, 2012, and termination of the program will result in a $515,000 cut in funding to 135 Community Access Program sites in public libraries across the province, including Burns Lake.Read more... )

Read more at the original link:

NEWS: Nunavut April 23, 2012 - 1:40 pm

Bring back the CAP: NDP

New Democrats say remote communities need the recently-cut Community Access Program


Romeo Saganash, the MP for Nunavik, and a member of the New Democratic Party, says the Conservatives should reverse their decision to eliminate the Community Access Program, which provides free access to broadband Internet for low-income Canadians living in remote areas, including many communities in Nunavut.

  “The elimination of the CAP is all the more absurd as it comes as the Conservatives call for unemployed Canadians to use the internet to receive their benefits and find work,” Saganash said in an April 23 news release.

Read more at the original link:

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2012-04-27 02:14 pm

Dr. Seuss story barred from classroom ... no, really!

Dr. Seuss story accused of having a political agenda, barred from classroom

A school in B.C. investigates the potential political undertones of ‘Yertle the Turtle’

Al Ravenna/World Telegram & Sun/

Ted Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss)

By Jillian Eugenios contributor

updated 4/26/2012 3:28:21 PM ET 2012-04-26T19:28:21

Is there a child around who doesn’t know green eggs are an especially delicious with ham, whether they’re eaten in a boat or in a house, with a goat or with a mouse?

Dr. Seuss books, a staple of childhood, have incited recent scrutiny for their apparent political undertones. The Prince Rupert School District in British Columbia, Canada is alleging that a certain Dr. Seuss quote is unfit for children due to its vaguely disguised political messaging meant to promote unrest and incite rebellion.

Read more at the original link:

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2012-04-25 03:01 pm
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Harold Knopf on IPA's attempts to limit educational use of publications

Wonders never cease. Here's a letter from  the International Publishers Association (possibly inspired by some Canadian sources?), suggesting that Canada may face a WTO challenge over the fair dealing provisions in Bill C-11. HT to Michael Geist.

This is simply absurd. The fair dealing provisions of Bill C-11 are less permissive than those of the USA, which explicitly allows for multiple copies for classroom use.

Once again, here's the USA provision - which has been there since 1976:
 17 USC § 107 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

Read more at the original link:
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2012-04-24 09:31 pm

Open letter to a college student

Dear College Student,

I know you feel you haven't permanently defaced a library book by underlining passages (many, many, many passages) in pencil (which you didn't take the time to erase when you were done).  However, someone (namely me) does have to go through the book page by page, and attempt to erase your handiwork.  And this DOES fade the print for other users (aka DAMAGE).

If you feel that you can't take notes from a book, please, go out and buy one, and deface your own copy at will.


Ms. Atoz
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2012-04-23 12:55 pm

In other, lighter news...

The Vancouver Public Library has been rated the second most beautiful in the world!

It is one good looking library.  Though I have to say (without snarkiness) that the winner looks a little like it came out of an IKEA box...

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