“Just a little piece of tape”: VPL Marketing Director clarifies rules about non-Olympic sponsor logos

from greenpeanut on flickr

A couple of days ago   The Tyee reported that VPL’s Marketing and Communications Manager Jean Kavanagh’s sent a memo in November 2009 to   staff outlining rules about branding and logos of non-Olympic sponsors. The quote that stuck in my head was Kavanagh’s advice to stick a little piece of tape to cover a non-sponsor logo:

The same care (about non-sponsor logos and brands) must be taken for audio-visual equipment. The branch should try to get devices made by official sponsor Panasonic. Should staff only be able to find Sony equipment, the solution is simple. “I would get some tape and put it over the ‘Sony,’” Kavanagh said. “Just a little piece of tape.”

Her email to staff she explains that:

We cannot ever use the VANOC logo. The City as Host City can use the Games marks in conjunction with the City logo but we must obtain permission to do so every time we want to use them. All such requests must be sent to me and I forward the request to our City VANOC liaison.  If you want to insert any VANOC branding/photos with posters/materials we also must obtain approval. I have a good sense of what gets approved so please talk to me before work is started on such materials.

There are also strict rules for using logos/branding of Games sponsors so again please contact me with any ideas before things get underway. The Library doesn’t really deal with the major sponsors, but if for example a branch was involved in a Host A City Happening event and a local Bank of Montreal wanted to sponsor it we would have to say no. The Royal Bank is the official banking sponsor. Some branches may have an opportunity to participate in torch relay activities and all these rules will apply then. Information about the torch relay will be available in the new year.

Kavanagh’s memo outlines several potential branding conflicts and proposes

For example, do not have Pepsi or Dairy Queen sponsor your event. Coke and McDonald’s are the Olympic sponsors. If you are planning a kids’ event and approaching sponsors, approach McDonald’s and not another well-known fast-food outlet.

If you have a speaker/guest who happens to work for Telus, ensure he/she is not wearing their Telus jacket as Bell is the official sponsor.

If you have rented sound equipment and it is not Panasonic or you can’t get Panasonic, cover the brand name with tape or a cloth.

If you are approaching businesses in your area for support and there is a Rona and Home Depot, go to Rona. If there’s only a Home Depot don’t approach them as Rona is the official sponsor. Try other small businesses

VPL has a Sponsorship Policy that outlines the principles of the library:

Vancouver Public Library is a cornerstone of the community. Sponsorships must not undermine the integrity of the non-commercial public space that the Library provides. In developing sponsorship arrangements the Library will:

  1. not compromise the public service objectives and practices of the Library or of the sponsored event, service, programmes or activity;
  2. protect its principle of intellectual freedom and equity of access to its programmes, services, and collections;…

Download the VPL memo

Media links

The Tyee: Librarians Told to Stand on Guard for Olympic Sponsors

CTV Olympics site: Library asked to cover up non-sponsors’ logos during Games

Posted in freedom of information, policies Tagged: corporate sponsorship, non-commercial space, olympics, public, public library, vancouver public library, vpl

To mock a book-banner

Erna Paris, the Chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada, wrote an eloquent article about some recent Canadian examples of book challenges:

In Canada, more than a hundred books have been challenged over the past two decades alone, in schools, in the courts, in libraries and in bookstores, but although they have been removed from classrooms and shelves, they have rarely been banned outright. Today, the stated reasons are usually perceived racism, inappropriate sexual content and, occasionally, political reasons, including one claim that a children’s book misrepresented the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Margaret Atwood’s dystopic The Handmaid’s Tale is a frequent source of inspiration to the censorious class.

Yes, it is all quite depressing, but there is a happy side: Banned books are always so very enticing. We itch to read them , and we usually do, sooner or later. I’m sure I’m not the only one who hid a book my parents disapproved of under the covers to read surreptitiously with a flashlight.

This article also includes some examples of historical censorship:

Long before books were replicated in multiple copies, banning was effected in other ways. In the marketplaces of medieval Spain, political parody and satire were vocalized in verse, to the delight of the townsfolk , leading one beleaguered king to publish an ordinance forbidding “the singing of songs.

Read ‘To mock a book-banner’ in the Globe and Mail

Posted in freedom of information Tagged: canada, censorship, challenges, historical censorship

CBC’s Q interviews Judy Blume

Judy Blume

While cooking a tasty batch of Red Greek Lentils from the Rebar cookbook, I heard Jian Ghomeshi interview Judy Blume on CBC’s Q (16:08-:30:08). I can’t believe that she’s 70 years old now.

The introduction was lovely:

Name a book that was important to you as a kid. A novel that helped you negotiate the challenges of changing body, changing identity and general grappling with life’s big changes. I bet many of you will pick a novel by Judy Blume. Because if there was something that was troubling you, something you couldn’t talk to your parents, teachers of friends about. You could always go to the library and discreetly sign out a worn out copy of Are you there God?, It’s me Margaret. Or Blubber. Or Forever. Shut the door to your room. Find some solace. Because Judy and her characters understood what you were going through and didn’t judge.

For almost four decades Judy Blume has written about the things that children and adults have a hard time talking about: religion, racism, divorce, bullying, teenage sexual choices, menstruation, masturbation. She has published 28 books since 1969 with 75 million copies sold worldwide. Not one of them is out of print.

I remember reading Judy Blume’s books in elementary school. I don’t remember if I liked her books, but I do remember reading them because my classmates said there were dirty words and sex. I think I was disappointed at the sex content (in Forever the 18 year old guy refers to his penis as Ralph, I mean, c’mon…), but I read everything she wrote.

She talks about writing, being a writer, her dislike for categorizing books as “girls’ books” or “boys’ books” and writing provocative stuff. When Jian asks her about how she felt in the 80s when many of her books were challenged and banned, she replies:

I felt alone, and frightened. For a long time, until I realized I wasn’t alone and I came together with the National Coalition Against Censorship. When you go out and begin to stand up and speak out, because in those days publishers didn’t speak out for us… I certainly knew that when I was writing Forever, that this book might get me in trouble. But I had a 14 year old daughter at the time who was reading books that linked sexuality with punishment. I thought that was a very bad message to be sending to young people. So I wanted to write a book where two 18 year olds take responsibility for their own actions, and when they become sexually active they are responsible kids. This is not the best way to go about writing a book, but I’m glad that I wrote it. And I’m glad that it spoke to so many kids.

There’s also some interesting essays on her website about her thoughts on censorship.

Did you read Judy Blume’s books? What are your recommendations for really great YA/teen books that tackle difficult issues without being didactic?

Posted in freedom of information Tagged: author interviews, cbc radio, challenged books, children’s books, teen, ya

Colors magazine issue on Freedom of Speech

Issue 65 of Colors, “a magazine about the rest of the world”, is about Freedom of Speech.

The issues are thematic. Other themes have included slums, food, home, shopping, race, sports, and 2 issues on HIV/AIDS (Issue 7 in 1994, and Issue 67 in 2006).   They are smart, quirky and have lots of interesting images.   They are pretty to look at too.

Some of the issues have been controversial.   Wikipedia says “Issue 4 [1], released in spring 1993, covered the topic of race, and created an international uproar [2] by running full-page photos of the face of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain doctored to look like a black woman [3], filmmaker Spike Lee as a white man, Pope John Paul II as Asian, among others.”

For me, it’s more than a little weird that Benneton is behind this magazine, but I still think it’s worth checking out.

According to Outlook Online, Greater Victoria Public Library is the only library that has a subscription to the print copy of this magazine, but I can’t tell if they have this issue. If you are not lucky enough to be in the Greater Victoria area, enjoy the websites (current archive Issues 21-70, past archive Issues 1-60), or suggest your library purchase a subscription.

Posted in freedom of information Tagged: collection development, freedom of speech, magazines, pretty websites, serials

BC government too slow in repsonding to information requests

According to the CBC site

Government ministries are regularly failing to meet their own time limit of 30 business days to respond to information requests, Loukidelis said in Victoria.   The average response time reached 51 business days for general information, Loukidelis said.

While it is good news that fewer requests are being denied outright, it’s pretty poor that the government can’t meet it’s own timelines.