SJAC Process Update for UT Librarians

As UTFA members know, the SJAC process is currently underway to negotiate and modernize our Memorandum of Agreement. The University of Toronto Faculty Association is not certified like most other Canadian Faculty Associations (more than 90% are certified, giving their faculty associations legal authority within provincial labour laws). UTFA is not certified. But, we do have a MoA (written in 1978) which addresses some of the usual collective agreement items. But, it needs to be updated.

For librarians, this is crucial. We need to have a process in the MoA by which we can negotiate updates to our appointments and promotion policies with Administration (but not spend years on it, so we need a process that facilitates reaching an agreement). We are currently discussing this in the SJAC process. Remember, UTFA was told by members in a past survey on the subject that retaining the ‘status quo’ was not acceptable. We have a clear mandate to modernize the MoA and obtain up-to-date policies.

On April 12, at our last scheduled date for meeting with Frank Iacobucci, QC, facilitator for both teams, it was suggested that it would be in our interest to give the talks a little more time. We had Iacobucci’s guidance for three days, in which more progress was made than meeting with representatives of Administration for two years. At our next UTFA Council meeting (Wed. April 23, just before the AGM), UTFA Council will be asked if they are in agreement to extend our talks with Administration. This topic will be discussed at the AGM. We (all librarians) need to attend and show strong support for change at the AGM. Remember we began to work on modernizing the Policy for Librarians in the mid-2000 when Rea Devakos, with others and CAUT, began the work. There has been progress and, most importantly, we have the full support of faculty and UTFA Council. Let’s show we care and turn up for the AGM! A reception follows at the faculty club.

As you know the following jointly approved news release was sent out to the community:

” April 15, 2014

On Saturday, April 12, representatives of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) and the University administration met for the third of three scheduled days of facilitation in the Special Joint Advisory Committee process. The SJAC was created to address numerous issues, including (i) possible changes to appointments policies for both faculty streams; (ii) the role of faculty and librarians in academic planning; and (iii) review of the strengths, weaknesses and options for modernization of the Memorandum of Agreement prescribing UTFA’s role.

Based on the discussion on April 12, the facilitator, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, has recommended that the SJAC facilitation process should continue. This recommendation is based on his assessment that there is sufficient potential for UTFA and the University administration to reach agreement on SJAC issues. The parties will respond formally to the facilitator’s recommendation within two weeks.

The parties would like to thank Mr. Iacobucci for his assistance to date.”


Posted in Academic Librarianship, Academic libraries, MoA - UofT Memorandum of Agreement with Administration, Policies - UofT Librarians, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Libraries, University of Toronto Mississauga, University of Toronto Scarborough, UofT | Leave a comment

UTFA AGM – April 23, 2014

The Annual General Meeting of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) will take place on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The meeting will be held in room 108 of the Koffler House (KP), 569 Spadina Avenue.

This year, we have  speakers are Neil Guppy, Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia, and Sheila Slaughter, Louise McBee Professor of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.

  1. Neil Guppy: The Long Reach of Government in Steering the University

The reach of government into the affairs of the university, and especially into university research, has recently accelerated.  Political intrusions to steer the directions of the academy may have benefitted some fields and hampered others.  The direct and indirect impacts of the Canada Foundation for Innovation on the re-engineering of the university are traced as an illustration of how politics increasingly shapes the careers of academic scholars.

  1. Sheila Slaughter: How US Boards of Trustees Shape Research within US Universities and the Government.

Members of boards of trustees in US private universities (26 private Association of American Universities) are usually CEOs of Fortune 500/1000 corporations, on boards of directors of other corporations, very active in foundations (which, of course, is what US private universities are–501 C-3s), and in government.  In many ways, this is a C. Wright Mills story about the power elite, writ large.  This presentation focuses on the consequences that trustees sitting as CEOs or on boards of directors of large corporations have for research universities: universities’ corporate science fields created through trustee relations, universities’ exchanges with their trustees’ corporations, and universities’ trustees activities in shaping federal research policy.

“The AGM will also feature dedicated time to discuss progress (or lack thereof) and implications of the Special Joint Advisory Committee (SJAC) process that has been at the centre of UTFA’s work for much of the past two years. As you know, the SJAC process involving UTFA and the University Administration provides a unique opportunity to review how UTFA represents you and to negotiate how that form of representation may be modernized. One of the aims of UTFA in the SJAC process is to secure a negotiated policy (not a guideline!) that might finally make explicit what collegiality means in the context of significant academic restructuring initiatives. I am sure you agree, it is high time we had that! The third and critical day of SJAC facilitation is scheduled for April 12 2014. That makes the AGM timely for an update to the membership.” (Scott Prudham, President, UTFA)

We encourage you to attend and to bring colleagues with you. Please RSVP us at or by calling at 416-978-4976416-978-4976.  Reception to follow at the Faculty Club.

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Ukrainian Library Association Statement on the International Conference “Crimea 2014″


Ukrainian Library Association Statement on the International Conference “Crimea 2014″

Ukrainian Library Association declares protest against the decision to hold an International Conference “Crimea 2014″ in Sudak, Crimea. For twenty years librarians from Russia, Ukraine and other countries have gathered together to discuss the current problems of the development of library science and information delivery. For many years, the Ukrainian Library Association has been one of the co-organizers of this conference; members of the Ukrainian Library Association actively worked in the organizing committee, supervisory board, the program committee of the conference, and participated in its work. However, in light of recent events – the illegal “referendum” on the status of Crimea, illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and non-recognition by Ukraine and the international community of these illegal acts – the Ukrainian Library Association considers it unacceptable to hold this international conference in Crimea.

In light of the foregoing, the Ukrainian Library Association CALLS:

Chief organizer of the “Crimea” conference, Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology, to cancel the decision to hold the conference in the Crimean Autonomic Republic and to move it into the territory of the Russian Federation.

Ukrainian and Russian colleagues, professionals and managers of libraries, publishers, booksellers and bookselling organizations, museums, archives, information centers, universities, colleges, computer and Internet companies, business, law, institutions of science, culture and education, as well as experts from other countries not to take part in the conference, if it is held on the territory of Crimea.

IFLA to not support the international conference “Crimea-2014″ on the territory of Crimea — illegally annexed by the Russian Federation, and not to hold an IFLA Forum during the Crimean conference.
March 24, 2014

Тетяна Ярошенко, директор наукової Бібліотеки Національного університету «Києво-Могилянська академія»
Tetiana Yaroshenko, PhD, University Librarian, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Аcademy

2 Skovorody Str., Kyiv, 04070, Ukraine; Tel.: +38-(044)425-6055+38-(044)425-6055 of., +38(050)335-1465+38(050)335-1465 cell; +38-(044)463-6783+38-(044)463-6783 fax;  «Києво-Могилянській академії 396 років. Шануємо минуле, творимо майбутнє».


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Pressure from the community has had an impact. A new Code of Conduct has been issued by Library and Archives Canada. For a comparison, here is the old version LAC Code of Conduct Jan 2013   versus the new version issued in December 2013  2013-Dec LAC Code of Conduct a pdf version of the current posting on the government website.

Comment from Rose Barker, on CAUT librarians list notes (March 24, 2014):

“This new code represents a significant improvement. Employees are still encouraged to report on their colleagues for any failure to comply with the code, a shameful policy that contributes to an unhealthy workplace. However, restrictions on employees’ professional development activities have been substantially reduced and references to discipline for personal opinions expressed in limited access forums have been removed.

At a time when Canadian culture institutions are being decimated, it is easy to become overwhelmed and forget to celebrate our victories, however small. The changes to the LAC code of conduct were only made because we spoke out collectively, an example of how we can make a difference. Our current government may be attempting to rewrite the past, but together we are in control of the future.”


Posted in Academic freedom, Academic governance, Academic Librarianship, Archives, Archivists, Code of Conduct, LAC, Library and Achives Canada | Leave a comment

Policies for Librarians – In the same Policy with Faculty or Not? What is the Trend?

As a librarian working in the University of Toronto Library System, have you ever wondered why we have a separate Policy for Librarians, never mind the numerous other guidelines and agreements? Or how does this compares to other institutions in Canada?  Our Policy for Librarians was written in 1977-1978 before most universities in Canada had a certified faculty associations and negotiated Collective Agreements. 37 years have passed without any changes to this 1970’s policy. Do you remember the 1970s? Were you even born then? It was a very different time. Today, most faculty associations in Canada are certified unions and negotiate, together with their respective administrations, a full range of academic and compensation issues that comprise the terms of academic employment. This has resulted in librarians and faculty, as academic staff, being in the same collective agreement (for a full list see below).  As we can see in the numerous collective agreements there are ways of addressing these differences within one, unified policy that includes faculty, academic librarians and archivists.  Most recently, the collective agreement negotiated for St. Michael’s University College, includes librarians, archivists and faculty.  So, why is the Administration at the University of Toronto insisting on separate policies for  librarians in the University of Toronto Library System? We know it is not because of the differences. Could they argue that it is because of tradition? After 37 years with no change in policies, can neglect, in good conscience, really be called a tradition?  We don’t think so. Is it because it is easier? Is it because uniting policies for faculty and librarians might involve too much work, too much time? Or is the reason really related to the classical strategy of “Divida et Impera”? What we do know is that our profession has changed. More than ever, we need to reinforce the essential principles of academic freedom, professional autonomy and our status as academics, which our colleagues back in the 1970’s fought so hard to ensure when the Governing Council recognized and approved librarians as members of the University of Toronto Faculty Association in 1978.

Currently the following universities and post-secondary institutes have one policy (collective agreement) which includes both faculty and librarians:

Acadia University, NS
Atlantic School of Theology, NS
Brandon University, MB
Brock University, ON
Cape Breton University, NS
Carleton University, ON
Concordia University, ON
Dalhousie University, NS
Guelph University, ON
Lakehead University, ON
Laurentian University, ON
Lethbridge University, AB
Memorial University of Newfoundland, NL
Mount Allison University, NB
Mount Saint Vincent University, NS
Nipissing University, ON
Northern Ontario School of Medicine Faculty and Staff Association, ON
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, NS
Queen’s University, ON
Royal Roads University, BC
Simon Fraser University, BC
St. Francis Xavier University, NS
St. Mary’s University College, AB
St. Mary’s University, NS
St. Michael’s University College, University of Toronto, ON
St. Thomas More College, SK
Trent University, ON
University of Calgary, AB
University of Manitoba, MB
University of New Brunswick, NB
University of Northern British Columbia, BC
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, ON
University of Ottawa, ON
University of Prince Edward Island, PE
University of Regina, SK
University of Saskachewan, SK
University of Victoria, BC
University of Winnipeg, MB
Wilfrid Laurier University, ON
Windsor University, ON
York University, ON

Posted in Academic exploitation, Academic freedom, Academic governance, Academic Librarianship, Academic libraries, Librarians, Library Trends, Politics, Uncategorized, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Libraries | Leave a comment

Looking for documents which have disappeared from the www?

Have you saved documents pertaining to the professional interests of academic librarians in Canada which you know have gone missing on the internet? If so, CAPAL, the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians is interested in posting them to their site for easy, collegial access in our communites, see .

Posted in Academic freedom, Academic Librarianship, Freedom of Enquiry, Freedom of information, Freedom of speech, Intellectual Freedom | Tagged | Leave a comment

CAPAL 2014 Report to the Royal Society of Canada on the Role of Professional Academic Librarians and Archivists

CAPAL has submitted a report to the Royal Society of Canada on the The Status and Future of Canada’s Libraries and Archives, emphasizing the role of academic librarians and professional archivists in the future of Canada’s libraries and archives.


Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL)[1]

CAPAL’s Statement to the Royal Society of Canada, Expert Panel

“The Status and Future of Canada’s Libraries and Archives”

March 1, 2014

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Royal Society of Canada’s review of the status and future of Canada’s libraries and archives. The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) is a national membership organization representing the interests of professional academic librarians in relation to the areas of education, standards, professional practice, ethics, and core principles.[2] CAPAL differs from other library associations in that it is an advocacy group focused on  individual professional librarians and the discipline of academic librarianship.[3]

In response to your queries, members of CAPAL’s Steering Committee have reviewed the mandate of the Expert Panel on the website (, several reports submitted to the Expert Panel and some of the framing questions employed by  library associations. The task of reviewing the future of Canada’s libraries and archives, in all sectors and at all levels, is a daunting and challenging project, given their scope, complexity and diversity.

The one topic, which has not been mentioned in your mandate, is the professional role of librarians and archivists in the future of Canada’s libraries and archives. CAPAL views this as a core requirement for the future, whether it pertains to corporate, public or national libraries. Without professional librarians and archivists, there is no long-term, sustainable future for Canada’s libraries and archives and no one to lead, direct and ensure that the right decisions are being made according to professional standards, core principles, ethical guidelines and knowledgeable expertise. In the absence of trained, knowledgeable, professional librarians and/or archivists leading and guiding institutions through transitional periods, experience has resulted in the destruction of years of work and loss of valuable collections can be lost in recent times. The recent loss and dismantling of research collections as a result of closures of the federal government libraries is one example,[4] as is the decline of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) over a period of time resulting in the loss of access to scientific knowledge, research and threats to Canada’s cultural, social and political heritage. These events greatly concern CAPAL members.[5] CAPAL places a high value on freedom of information, research and knowledge-creation to uphold our principles in a democratic society. Further workplace devaluation and deprofessionalization of librarianship in Canada has been observed at all levels and sectors.

We are a relatively new organization that formed in 2012 in response to growing challenges that academic librarians have faced.[6] The catalyst for this effort was the symposium “Academic Librarianship: A Crisis or Opportunity” held at the University of Toronto on November 18, 2011.[7] The response from librarians was overwhelming and the message was clear. The concerns of academic librarians were not being addressed by current associations in Canada. A core working group began to review the terrain and explore what would be required to create such an organization. Discussions continued through 2012, with the core group gradually expanding to include other participants across Canada. [8]

Current Challenges Confronting Academic Librarians

Academic librarians build, maintain and curate collections and resources, serve and support advanced levels of learning, research and teaching in academic communities. In order to build and sustain the future of academic research and teaching libraries, it is  important for governments representatives, universities and post-secondary institutions to respect the professional rights, roles, autonomy and core principles of librarians. The following are some of the most pressing challenges that academic librarians are currently confronting in the workplace devaluation and the deprofessionalization of librarians’ roles:

  • a general lack of understanding pertaining to the professional roles and responsibilities of academic librarians in academic communities
  • institutional prioritizing of monetary goals over the core values and principles which have traditionally guided, built and curated academic libraries
  • institutional adoption of the latest trends without sufficient analysis, review and critique which results in the dismantling of core, valued services and collections which cannot be rebuilt
  • the employment of technology as a rationale for not considering the traditional, core values and principles upon which the profession has been built
  • administrators who do not put the interests of the institutions at the forefront of their decision making
  • the suppression or elimination of workplace forums where professional opinions critique, assess and review the best standards, options, midst rapid changes in the field

Today, in post-secondary institutions across Canada academic librarians are actively seeking to maintain:

  • the right to participate in collegial governance at all levels
  • the right to academic freedom for scholarship and research[9]
  • the intellectual right  to openly critique and voice their professional views, even when opposing administrative viewpoints
  • the right to participate in a meaningful way in academic restructuring

Education of Academic Librarians

For the future of academic institutions, the education and training of academic librarians needs to be reviewed. More specialized programs and higher standards of academic excellence, knowledge and specialized training are needed to meet the future needs of researchers and academic communities. Administrators of library and information studies programs have focused on increased enrollments at the expense of building programs to sustain our profession. Priorities have shifted from quality education to budgetary bottom lines.

Library and Archives Canada

Recent changes at LAC have resulted in paradigmatic shifts that will have a deleterious impact on academic libraries across Canada, especially, at larger provincial institutions. CAPAL members consider the recent actions pertaining to the LAC and the National Archival Development Program (NADP) undertaken by the Ministry of Heritage in conflict with their responsibility to Canadian citizens to value, preserve and sustain this country’s documentary heritage. These actions and the long term ramifications deprive Canadian citizens of their rights to free and unrestricted access to information concerning their heritage. Current legislation to protect the mandate of LAC as a national library and archive for Canada seems to have provided little protection under the current government’s political agenda. This concerns CAPAL members.

Other negative changes at LAC have resulted in Canada being without a national bibliography, repository and archive. A national library and archive is an expression of national identity and a repository of Canada’s national heritage. Moving forward the CAPAL recommends the following:

  • The Chief Librarian/Archivist of LAC needs to be a trained, experienced professional Librarian/Archivist who has had a career as a Librarian/Archivist
  • LAC needs to be governed by an independent board which includes professional librarians and archivists that has an arms-length distance from government interference
  • New legislation needs to be formulated so that, under all circumstances, a national repository and archive is firmly secured and not subject to the priorities, political agendas or ideology of ruling political parties.
  • Legislation which governs LAC must comply with Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom and Constitution of Canada.

LAC has a responsibility to:

  • operate in a transparent manner and ensure the activities and projects of LAC are well known across the country, to citizens and professionals in the various fields
  • ensure that LAC employees are actively engaged with library associations and have the freedom to openly discuss issues, share knowledge and concerns
  • ensure collections and LAC are managed according to the core values and ethics of librarianship / archival practices and not superficial, monetary priorities which shift with the politicians
  • work closely with associations in Canada, USA and Internationally
  • ensure long-term goals are maintained
  • ensure LAC operates according the Canadian legislation
  • ensure LAC truly is a national repository for Canadians
  • ensure LAC is not threatened by changing political ideology
  • ensure that LAC shows the proper respect for Canada’s heritage

We conclude this submission with the hope that the Expert Panel’s Report will be able to have a meaningful impact on the challenges confronting the future of Canada’s libraries and archives. And to say, that even though CAPAL is still in its infancy, should the opportunity arise to assist further in this endeavour, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Members of the CAPAL Steering Committee, February 28, 2014.

Barc, Agatha. Victoria University in the University of Toronto.
Borie, Juliya. University of Toronto.
Fox, Douglas. Victoria University in the University of Toronto.
Giustini, Dean. University of British Columbia.
Hawrychuk, Shelley. University of Toronto Mississauga.
Jacobs, Leona. University of Lethbridge.
Kandiuk, Mary. York University.
Kumaran, Maha. University of Saskatchewan.
Pereyaslavska, Katya. University of Toronto.
Revitt, Eva. MacEwan University.
Sonne de Torrens, Harriet. University of Toronto Mississauga.
Spong, Stephen. York University.
Weiler, Mark. University of Western Ontario.


[1] Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians / L’Association canadienne des bibliothécaires académiques professionnels. Website: and

[2] CAPAL, Mission Statement, URL: Feb. 25, 2014.

[3] Academic librarians are academics, with a minimum of a Masters Degree in Information Studies or Library Science from an ALA accredited institution, often with additional, discipline specific masters, doctoral degrees or professional degrees, such as law, MBA, nursing, etc. Academic librarians are employed in educational or research institutes dedicated to high levels of teaching, learning and research.

[4] UT Librarians Blog, “Closure of Federal Libraries – Documents and Update on Closures” (Jan. 31, 2014) URL: Accessed Feb. 28, 2014.

[6] Penni Stewart, “Academic Librarians Are under Attack,” CAUT Bulletin 56:10 (December 2009). URL: . Accessed Oct. 27, 2013.

[7] Diane Granfield, Mary Kandiuk, Harriet Sonne de Torrens, “Academic Librarianship: A Crisis or an Opportunity,” Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, vol. 6, no. 2 (2011): 1-6. URL:

[8] “CAPAL: The Formation of a Professional Organization for Canadian Academic Librarians,” Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library Information Practice and Research vol. 8:2 (2013), URL: Accessed Feb. 25, 2014.

[9] Jim Turk, CAUT, “Academic Freedom for Librarians: What is it, and why does it matter?” (August 25, 2010): 1-12, URL:  Accessed Feb. 25, 2014.

Posted in Academic freedom, Academic Librarianship, Archives, Archivists, CAPAL - Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians, LAC, Library and Achives Canada, Royal Society of Canada | Leave a comment