Freedom of Speech in the Library Workplace

Photo credit: mrkalhoon on flickr

There’s one session at the upcoming CLA conference in Vancouver dealing with intellectual freedom issues. This looks like it could be the library equivalent of the Rumble in the Jungle with Maurice Freedman squaring off against Paul Whitney. Freedman came and spoke while CUPE 391, who represent the Vancovuer Public Library workers, was on strike for pay equity last summer. Whitney is the City Librarian at the Vancouver Public Library.

I’m a fan of Kathleen de la PeԦË” a McCook’s writing, but can’t justify the cost of attending the conference ($525 for the member early bird rate) even though it’s in my city. The conference website irks me. The conference program pdf is especially sucky, as it has been broken into 4 random parts.

Here’s the info on the session (which straddles Part 2 and 3 of the pdf set):

Thursday May 22nd, 4-5:30pm

Inside Talk: Freedom of Speech in the Library Workplace

The Advisory Committee on Intellectual Freedom brings you the pros and cons of resolutions on workplace speech for library institutions. Panelists Kathleen de la PeԦË” a McCook, Sam Trosow, and Paul Whitney will lead discussion on just what resolutions on workplace speech might look like and mean for the CLA, library administrations, and Canadian library and information work in the 21st century. Audience participation is highly encouraged in this reflective look inside our own institutional culture. Questions to consider are: whose voices are coming through the library channels? and, what is and is not acceptable when librarians participate in citizen journalism that criticizes employers in the blogosphere?


Kathleen de la PeԦË” a McCook, Distinguished University Professor, SLIS, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
Maurice J. Freedman, MLS, PhD, Past President, American Library Association & Publisher, The U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D Librarian, Mount Kisco, NY, USA
Dr. Samuel E. Trosow, Associate Professor, FIMS, University of Western Ontario, London, ON
Paul Whitney, City Librarian, Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, BC

If you attended the session please leave a comment about your impressions.

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