banned books week looks at union issues

So, it’s banned books week. I have a few links I’ve been sitting on for a while trying to find a way to look at them together but I think this week has given me the nudge. Banning books is bad. Challenging books is an exercise in free speech and a totally appropriate way of giving community feedback on library selection policies. Lumping challenged and banned books together confuses two different issues, to my mind. For some reason thinking about free speech and libraries makes me think about union issues. There have been a few in the news lately and not so lately and I apologize for not getting to them sooner.

You can read more about this sort of thing over at Union Librarian.

12 thoughts on “banned books week looks at union issues

  1. Good to see a shout-out to VPL. Sadly it looks like it will come down to an imposed, not negotiated settlement. And if you can on your way through Vancouver to Access, drop by one of the picket lines (all the libraries are actually closed).

  2. Thanks for some recognition for the VPL staff. Re: the VPL website you can still get at most of the static pages (eg. ) but the catalogue is down.

    Jamie, it’s not an imposed settlement. The mediator is currently coming up with an offer that will hopefully be agreeable to both parties. The union and the library board (or the Library Mannagement Team or city council or mayor Sam Sullivan or the GVRD labour bureau; who is in charge of the library is an issue :P ) will then vote on the offer. The union members are not being forced to accept anything. In fact it looks as if we will get a good deal. Cross your fingers for open libraries in Vancouver next week!

  3. Collective bargaining labor relations advocates are routinely blocked by our cities’ public libraries from public records of their public institutions contrary to FOI freedom of information public records principles, sunshine open public meetings principles and intellectual freedom principles. Advocacy on this by librarians, archivists and records managers is generally misunderstood. There is a balance of preserving confidentiality and preserving access to the historical public records. Ask for the public records of your favorite cities’ public libraries, annual reports, curatorial reports, long range plans, budgets, reports to the board, et al.

  4. Note that banning is the blocking of access to the public information. Too often our favorite cities’ public libraries intellectual freedom activism are enunciated by the same folks banning access to the public institutional records. How ironical !

  5. don.saklad you are not making any sense.

  6. Holy toledo. I will be in Vancouver in early November for digital projects training and had no idea about the strike. Will certainly follow it between now and then. Thanks for mentioning it.

  7. You shouldn’t have to cross any picket lines, as all the libraries are closed, as far as I know. It’s too bad you won’t get to see Vancouver’s Big Beautiful Downtown Library, which (unlike the Seattle one) *does* use its architecture nicely to make it work for what libraries actually do.

    I’m working at a library in suburban Vancouver these days. Drop me a line if you want any info.

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