Saturday, September 27, 2008

Banned Books Week

It's late September, and the ALA's Banned Books Week is here!

Similar to the CLA's Freedom to Read Week, this ALA event is used to provide information about book challenges, bans, and the practice of censorship.

For the 2007 year, And Tango Makes Three (J. Richardson and P. Parnell) wound up being the most challenged book. The full list, along with information on previously challenged and banned books, can be found on this page of the ALA website.

While outright bans seem to occur less and less, the fact that books continue to be challenged in our schools and libraries reminds us of the work still to be done in promoting intellectual freedom.

This year Banned Books Week runs from Sept. 27 - Oct. 4.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Librarians and faculty strike at UWindsor

The Faculty Association at the University of Windsor has declared a strike, affecting the work of academic staff, including librarians. The main issues appear to be working conditions and fair wages. G&M article. Information from the perspective of the Association can be found here, and you can find out what the university thinks here.

Needless to say, this affects the university at all levels, particularly students seeking a quality education. It also affects the personal and professional lives of those who are now on the picket lines exercising their right to strike.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Democratic voice [updated]

During the 2006 election, the Green Party of Canada was a national party, and ran candidates across the entire country in all 308 ridings. During the election campaign, the Green Party leader was refused the opportunity to participate in the official leader debates. Despite this, over 600,000 individual Canadians voted for this party, approximately 4.5% of the popular vote.

How can a party with national representation be refused the right to participate in the federal election debates? How is it that a political voice speaking for more than half a million Canadian citizens is stifled by backroom deals and political machinations? And why is is that we're about to see this happen AGAIN?!?

This FLIF member thinks it's wrong that a major party leader has been blocked from the debates. As a librarian, I support freedom of expression and democratic values. As a citizen, I have the right to hear from someone who could be speaking on my behalf in Parliament.

There is a grassroots push happening to protest for Green Party leader Elizabeth May's participation in the upcoming leader debates. The online petition is available at, and only takes a few seconds to submit.

UPDATE: Those of you who have been following this story know that both the opposing parties and the media committee have reversed their decisions. Green Party leader Elizabeth May has been invited to join the televised leader debates. It's a good day. However, I still wonder why this was an issue at all.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


It's election time in Canada again. Over the next six weeks we'll likely be bombarded with a lot of campaign spin on the issues the politicians want you to discuss. Whatever your affiliation and political leaning, no matter where you stand on the issues, we remind everyone to be media savvy, to go beyond the rhetoric, and to be critical about what the various parties are saying.

And get involved! Ask questions. Talk to friends and family. Email your candidates. Attend local debates. Press our representatives on the issues YOU want discussed during this election.

As of this posting, elections Canada has yet to update it's website with new voter information, so we can't yet provide you with official resources. Future FLIFblog posts will include more information on voting in our election on Oct. 14th.

Also, it's virtually impossible to ignore the election going on in the superpower next door. One of our colleagues recently shared a resource for those individuals holding dual citizenship who want to vote the the American election. If you hold US citizenship but are living abroad, you still have a right to vote in that election. Visit for more information, and to find out where to register.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Hello again. After a summer-long hiatus, FLIF is back. A lot has happened in our neck of the woods since the last post.

The senior class graduated, sending a new group of talented, engaged young librarians to make their mark on the world. Unfortunately, this means we lost some veteran FLIF members, including our executive. We thank all of them for their efforts.

On the flip side, the new academic year is underway, and FLIF is under new management. We are happy to give a big welcome to the new students who have just embarked on their library studies, and to welcome back our returning members. We have some new things planned for this year, and hope to see you all at the meetings and events.

We want to continue examining IF and SR issues. We want to discuss and engage with the questions and outcomes faced by LIS professionals. We want to strengthen ties to our community. While we work to meet these goals, we want you to be encouraged to do the same.