Retiring the site

Dear APUO librarians,

I started this site when I was a library representative on the APUO Board of Directors. I haven’t done that job in many years and keeping the site up to date has been a challenge since I’ve moved on. I will keep the content online for a few more months and then retire it.

Thank you for reading!

New Board Members / Library Reps

Your new Board Members are: Susan Mowers (until June 30 2016) and Mish Boutet (until June 30 2015)

What is the role of the Board Member?

  • Be a link between members and the APUO
  • Get members involved
  • Communicate with management on members’ issues in a pro-active way

Contact Susan or Mish if you would like advice with your collective agreement or other workplace issue.

Thanks to Susan and Mish for offering their time and expertise to serving librarians!


The Héritage / Canadian project and why this stinks for access to Canadian history

I am a History librarian. I am other things as well, but in my professional life, I identify mostly with historians, historical materials and history librarianship. I deal day in and out with students and researchers seeking historical documents. Over the past eight years, I have noticed a shameful fact; that while other countries – the U.S., France, Australia, England, Scotland, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, etc.. etc… etc… develop amazing national digital historical treasures to share with the rest of the world, Canada’s national library has done next to nothing by comparison.

Let me be honest though about Canadian documentary history online – the one national source we do have, Early Canadiana Online / Notre mémoire en ligne, is no gold standard and I have never been a fan. It has terrible search and retrieval functions, the metadata is awful, the sources themselves are fairly banal in many cases, and it just generally really underwhelms as an online portal to Canadian history. However, it is what we have, no matter how disappointing.

ECO’s relative uselessness in my opinion, never made it an issue of concern for me, despite intense reaction to the Canadiana / Héritage project secret deal of earlier this spring and summer. I didn’t think it could ever improve to the point where it would be a go-to source for Canadian history. I’ve much preferred and relied on the work of local and provincial archives, scholarly projects and the like.

Michael Geist’s recent blog post changed my mind. Although I still doubt that ECO will ever be terribly useful, the way that LAC and Canadiana have approached Canadian historical documents – as though they were someone’s to own and whose access can be restricted- is cause for concern. I know no one in this country, at least not at the level of the federal government, will put any money forward to do full scale projects like Gallica or Australia’s national newspaper digitization project. Projects of that magnitude are the difference between the Louvre and the National Gallery – one country takes its cultural heritage very seriously and the other just doesn’t get it (no disrespect intended to the National Gallery). But really – releasing only 10% of the documents into the public domain per year – when they are already in the public domain? And charging subscriptions for the rest of the 90% until the 10 year “exclusive” hosting license expires does not sit well with. Surely the explanation is that funding was non-existent and it is more than likely that the people at LAC and Canadiana actually think they are doing Canada a favour by putting these documents online in this way. But unfortunately something that could have demonstrated real goodwill looks like a desperate grab for cash and an attempt to keep documents off the screens of Canadians. Will this project succeed? I suppose only history will tell, but it’s off to a very sad start.

Guide on “Access in the Academy: Bringing ATI and FOI to academic research”

Guide on “Access in the Academy: Bringing ATI and FOI to academic research”

“Access to Information and Freedom of Information  are ‘dual purpose’ devices with complicated  and implications. They operate in the service of transparancy and accountability, and in so doing, as  LaForest notes, they facilitate democracy. But they  also circumscribe the limits of transparency by codifying a range of exemptions and quasi-exemptions that curtail access and legitimize government secrecy.

ATI/FOI mechanisms regulate the interactions between groups with competing interests and reflect what philosopher Sissela Bok refers to as the politics and ethics of concealment and revelation. Some Canadian ATI/FOI regimes are reasonably
effective from a public interest standpoint, while others are so out-of-date or dysfunctional that they can reasonably be described as “broken”. From the standpoint of an academic, though, ATI/FOI mechanisms of all types can be incredibly useful – and
despite growing interest, they remain underutilized by the Canadian scholarly community. 

Individual researchers can use ATI/FOI mechanisms to gain access to otherwise unobtainable “back stage” government records, but in so doing, they – we – also make these records accessible to others and contribute to the broadening of the pool of publicly-accessible information. In this sense, all ATI/FOI research, regardless of whether and in what form the results are published, leaves a mark in the public domain.” 

Rise with the Ranks Workshop

The Edmonton chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) is hosting a
two-day workshop in Edmonton on July 20 and 21 entitled the Rise with the
Ranks Workshop.

The Rise with the Ranks Workshop is predicated on the principle that
library and information workers should not strive to rise from the ranks
but rather rise with the ranks, to paraphrase Eugene Debs.  We believe that
cooperative, non-hierarchical methods of organization are essential to the
social justice ideals embraced by our profession.  Therefore, the purpose
of the Rise with the Ranks Workshop is to:

  • provide a counter to hierarchical, business models of management within the library and information industry;
  • equip participants with the skills and tools needed to affect meaningful change within the industry and wider society;
  • foster a specific worker identity among library and information workers;
  • build a workers’ movement within the library and information industry based on collaboration and solidarity; and
  • encourage the growth of self-management, egalitarianism, and worker empowerment within the library and information industry.

The workshop will consist of skill-share sessions, discussions, training sessions, and more.  For the full program description, please visit

The workshop is being offered free of charge.  However, space is limited so the Edmonton PLG invites all interested information workers to apply for
admission at

Please note that the deadline for registration is *June 21, 2013.*

PLG Edmonton online:<>

Le 1er mai 2013 : solidarité contre l’austérité / May Day 2013: Solidarity Against Austerity

Le 1er mai 2013 : solidarité contre l’austérité

Soyez des nôtres le 1er mai 2013 pour fêter la Journée internationale des travailleurs et travailleuses. Participez à l’une de deux marches avec comme points de départ la terrasse Morisset à l’Université d’Ottawa, ou le parc McNabb. Les deux marches débuteront dès 18h30 et se rejoindront à 20h devant les bureaux du Premier ministre. Apportez drapeaux, bannières, pancartes, ou même des casseroles afin de faire du bruit ! Pour en savoir davantage, contactez, ou consultez ou la page Facebook suivante (


May Day 2013 in Ottawa

Solidarity Against Austerity is gearing up for May Day 2013. This year we plan to celebrate International Workers’ Day with a festive twist. Join us at either of the main marches, uOttawa MRT Terrace being the East march starting point, or McNabb Park for the West starting point. Both of the marches will have a 6pm meet up and depart by 6:30pm. The main rally point will be at the PMO at 8pm. Feel free to bring banners, flags, or even pots and pans. Contact

For more about Solidarity Against Austerity, check our our Facebook page ( or

Education at Work: Rethinking Labour in the Academy

Conference Topic: Education at Work: Rethinking Labour in the Academy

March 22 & 23, 2013

Montreal, Quebec

New Submission Deadline: Thursday, February 28, 2013

Summary of the Problematic

Recent major mobilizations of students in Quebec, Chile, the United Kingdom, and other countries have focussed on defending public education and improving accessibility to higher education in the face of cuts to state spending and tuition fee hikes- often justified in the name of austerity.  Latent in these conversations is the fact that universities are simultaneously places of work and education, as evidenced in labour struggles on campus involving academic and non-academic staff. This is similarly reflected in student strikers’ demands for a more influential role in determining the present and future organization of higher education, as witnessed in the Quebec student movement’s public critique of universities’ increasingly neoliberal governing practices. The university, thus, not only brings together labour and education, but can—and often does—serve as a locus in which these categories are debated and negotiated. This conference explores critical questions relating to the intersection of labour and education in the university, including (but not limited to):

  • What is the future of public higher education in Canada?
  • What is the relationship between students, workers, and students-as-workers on campus? How do these relationships help us to re-imagine our ideas about labour in general and labour on campus in particular?
  • In what ways have Canadian university campuses become “corporatized,” or have Canadian campuses resisted corporatization? What significance does the corporatization of education have for on-campus labour issues? How does the corporatization of the university affect/marginalize historically under-represented groups? How can we understand the practices and processes behind corporatization and managerialism in higher education in order to challenge it?
  • In what ways do austerity policies and practices impact the relationship between education and work?
  • How does back-to-work/school legislation inform our understanding(s) of education and labour (or education-as-labour)? What tools do labour unions and student unions have for countering these measures?
  • What strategies can we employ to build solidarity between students, workers, and students-as-workers on campus?

Paper Proposals

We encourage submissions in traditional conference paper and panel formats, as well as alternative, creative, collaborative, and engaged presentations, workshops, roundtables etc., from academics, independent scholars, activists, community workers, artists and others.

We warmly invite your proposals for short presentations (20 min.). Proposals should include the following:

  • An abstract of no more than 500 words, in English or in French.
  • A brief biography or CV, including your contact information and any institutional affiliation
  • Any technical requests, such as audio/visual equipment

These proposals as well as any questions or requests for further information should be sent to the following address: Submissions will be reviewed by the conference committee, and speakers will be notified of the results by Monday, March 4, 2013.


Sujet du colloque : “L’éducation à l’œuvre : repenser le travail à l’université”

Vendredi 22 et samedi 23 mars 2013

Montréal, Québec

Date limite pour la soumission des propositions : jeudi 28 février 2013

Présentation de la problématique :

Les mobilisations majeures qui ont eu lieu récemment au Québec, au Chili, en Grande-Bretagne et dans d’autres pays ont souligné l’importance d’une éducation publique ainsi que la nécessité d’améliorer l’accès aux études supérieures. Elles s’opposaient notamment aux coupures budgétaires et à l’augmentation des frais de scolarité, souvent justifiées par des mesures d’austérité. Ces débats révèlent, de façon sous-jacente, que les universités sont tout autant des lieux de travail que d’éducation, phénomène mis en lumière par les mouvements de travailleurs, enseignants ou non, sur les campus. En témoignent, de même, les revendications des étudiants qui souhaitent jouer un rôle plus déterminant dans l’organisation, actuelle et à venir, des études supérieures. Ce fut le cas, par exemple, de la critique par le mouvement étudiant au Québec des modes de gestion de plus en plus néolibérales des universités. L’université n’associe donc pas seulement travail et éducation, mais peut constituer – et constitue le plus souvent – un espace dans lequel ces catégories dialoguent et échangent. Ce colloque propose d’explorer les problématiques liées à cette rencontre entre travail et éducation à l’université. Les communications pourront porter, entre autres, sur les questions suivantes :

  • Quel est l’avenir des études supérieures publiques au Canada ?
  • Quels sont les relations établies entre étudiants, salariés et étudiants-employés sur le campus ?  De quelles manières ces relations nous aident-elles à repenser nos conceptions du travail, en général et sur le campus en particulier ?
  • Dans quelle mesure les campus universitaires canadien se sont-ils transformés en entreprise, ou ont-ils résisté à cette transformation ? Quelles sont les implications de cette transformation, notamment en ce qui concerne le travail sur le campus ? Comment le passage de l’université à l’entreprise affecte/marginalise les groupes sous-représentés ? Comment comprendre les pratiques et les processus qu’impliquent ces transformations et ces modes de marginalisation dans les études supérieures afin de les combattre ?
  • Dans quelles mesures les politiques d’austérité influencent-elles les relations entre éducation et travail ?
  • De quelles façons les lois sur le retour au travail ou à l’école influencent-elles notre regard sur l’éducation et le travail (ou sur l’éducation comme travail) ? De quels outils disposent les syndicats pour contrer ces mesures ?
  • Quelles stratégies pouvons-nous mettre en œuvre pour développer une solidarité entre étudiants, salariés et étudiants-employés sur le campus ?

Propositions de communication :

Nous encourageons les propositions de communication individuelle ou par panel, ainsi que les interventions alternatives, créatives et en collaboration. Nous sommes ouverts aux présentations, ateliers ou tables rondes de chercheurs, militants, travailleurs associatifs, artistes, etc.

Nous vous invitons à présenter vos propositions de communication en français ou anglais (20 min). Les propositions doivent inclurent :

  • Un résumé de 500 mots maximum
  • Une brève biographie ou un CV, incluant les informations nécessaires pour vous contacter et votre affiliation institutionnelle
  • Toutes requêtes techniques, tel qu’équipement audio/ vidéo, etc.

Ces propositions, de même que toutes questions ou requêtes pour obtenir des informations supplémentaires, doivent être envoyées à l’adresse suivante : Les textes soumis seront recensés par le comité scientifique, et les conférenciers seront informés des résultats au plus tard le vendredi 4 mars 2013.

OCUFA to host Ottawa town hall on austerity and higher education

January 23, 2013 | Comment

austerity4colour (417x540)On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, OCUFA will be co-presenting a town hall discussion on austerity and higher education. We invite all Ottawa-area students, staff, and faculty to join us for an evening of discussion and analysis.

Speakers include:

  • David Macdonald – Senior Economist, The Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives
  • Prof. Tyler Chamberlin – Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa, Telfer School of Management
  • Prof. Joel Westheimer – Professor, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Education
  • Anna Goldfinch – VP External, Carleton Graduate Student Union
  • Nick Falvo – PhD Candidate, Public Policy, Carleton University

The event will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in University of Ottawa,, Room 227,  Fauteux Hall (FTX), University of Ottawa.

Earlier in the day, OCUFA will be releasing new polling data on how Eastern Ontario views austerity and higher education.

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Bill C-49. An Act to Amend the Museums Act in order to Establish the Canadian Museum of History

Library of Parliament has released a legislative summary of Bill C-49. LoP summarizes government bills before Parliament and provides background in an impartial manner.

The summary provides background information on the history of the current Museum (of Civilization) and the new mandate of the proposed Canadian Museum of History. In section 3 “Commentary” are a summary of public opinion on the museum, both negative and positive.

Full summary.