January 21, 2022

Press Roundup: Mellen Press Libel Lawsuits vs. Librarian and McMaster University

There has been a lot of coverage in the past week regarding two lawsuits filed by Edwin Mellen Press that names Dale Askey, Associate University Librarian, Library & Learning Technologies at McMaster University and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario as defendants.

The suit stems from a blog post by Askey on his Bibliobrary.net blog in 2010.

In the past day the story has started to get coverage in non-library or higher education sources. The Hamilton Spectator post (linked below) includes a few comments from Dale Askey.

Here’s a roundup of press coverage, statements of support, and other materials.

We will continue to update this post as more material becomes available.

Court Filing in Ontario

Notice of Action

Statements of Support

Association of University Presses
February 22, 2013

ALA President Maureen Sullivan
February 22, 2013

ARL-CARL Joint Statement in Support of Dale Askey and McMaster University
February 14, 2014

CLA supports Dale Askey in libel suit defense (via Canadian Library Association)
February 11, 2013

McMaster’s commitment to academic freedom (via McMaster University)
February 8, 2013

PLG GTA Stands With Dale Askey (via Progressive Librarians Guild Toronto Area Chapter)
February 8, 2013

News and Blog Reports

Press Sues Librarian Over Negative Evaluation (via Library Journal)

Mac librarian shocked by $3.5M blogging lawsuit (via Hamilton Spectator)

Edwin Mellen Press Ltd., an international academic publishing company, filed two lawsuits last June.

The first suit was served against Askey last summer, by the company’s founder, Herbert Richardson.

A second suit for $3.5 million was served in December by the company itself against both Askey and McMaster.


“I was exercising my professional judgment and writing about a professional issue for my professional peers. It’s geared much more toward librarians. I used examples but the point was to talk about how libraries spend their money,” he [Askey] said.


“I think for librarianship and for the academy, it’s a test of what academic freedom is and what … we’re willing to do to defend such freedoms,” Askey said, adding that he has received “a lot of support internally” from McMaster.

Note: This article was also published on MetroNews.ca.

When Sellers and Buyers Disagree — Edwin Mellen Press vs. a Critical Librarian (via The Scholarly Kitchen)
February 11, 2013

Edwin Mellen Press suing McMaster librarian in $4.5 million libel lawsuit (via Quill & Quire)
February 11, 2012

Scholarly Publishing: Still Not Making Sense (via ACRL0g)
February 9, 2013

Edwin Mellen Press Sues University Librarian for Libel (via The Chronicle of Higher Education)
February 8, 2013

Publisher Sues College Librarian for Saying Publisher Sucks (via Gawker)
February 8, 2013

Price of a Bad Review  (via Inside HigherEd)
February 8, 2013

Edwin Mellen Press Suing a Librarian? (via Academic Librarian)
February 8, 2013

Unprecedented $3 million dollar lawsuit filed against McMaster librarian for blogpost (via Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians)
February 7, 2013

Shocking attack on academic freedom at McMaster by Edwin Mellen Press? (via Leiter Reports)
February 6, 2013

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.