January 26, 2022

Canada: “Federal Librarians Fear Being ‘Muzzled’ by Code of Conduct”

From the National Post

Federal librarians and archivists who set foot in classrooms, attend conferences or speak up at public meetings on their own time are engaging in “high-risk” activities, according to the new code of conduct at Library and Archives Canada.

Given the dangers, the code says the department’s staff must pre-clear such “personal” activities with their managers to ensure there are no conflicts or “other risks to LAC.”


“It includes both a muzzle and a snitch line,” says James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, which represents more than 68,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and academics across the country.


“Once you start picking on librarians and archivists, it’s pretty sad,” says Toni Samek, a professor of library and information studies at the University of Alberta. She specializes in intellectual freedom and describes several clauses in the code as “severe” and “outrageous.”

Read the Complete Article

Updated (March 22, 2013)

The Canadian Library Association has posted a statement on the LAC’s Code of Conduct

 The Canadian Library Association urges Library and Archives Canada to revisit its Code of Conduct in order to strike a more even balance between the duty of loyalty to the Government of Canada that all public servants have and the freedom of expression that is imperative to the work of librarians in a strong democracy.

— Read the Complete Statement

Updated (March 22, 2013)

CBC Program Host Jian Ghomeshi’s essay on Library and Archives Canada Code

Toronto area librarian Kimberly Silk is doing a great job of aggregating news and comment about this story on her blog.

Updated (March 22, 2013)
Statement by Daniel Caron, Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada and Chair, Heads of Federal Agencies

Updated (March 22, 2013)

A recent edition of the CBC’s “As It Happens” Program included a seven minute report about this story.

Updated (March 21, 2013): Comments From the British Columbia Library Association

British Columbia Library Association Statement on LAC Values and Ethics Code

LAC – Code of Conduct – Values and Ethics by Margaret Munro

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.