Category Archives: Academic Libraries

Memorial University Libraries Urges Kirby to Meet with NLLA

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MUN logoInterim University Librarian, Louise White, released a letter today to Premier Dwight Ball on behalf of Memorial University Libraries. White wrote “It is time to focus attention on a renewed dialogue between government, specifically Minister Kirby, and those who have devoted their professional lives to libraries, reading, information literacy and community development.”

She went on to question the lack of consultation that seems to have gone into the recent budgetary decisions. “There is much at risk when decisions such as the closure of libraries and the taxation of books are made without a rigorous consultation process.” You can read Memorial University Libraries full letter here.

On May 24, the NLLA sent a letter to Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Dale Kirby, requesting a meeting to address questions that have been raised concerning the planned closure of 54 branches of the NLPL and are awaiting a response.

NLLA Supports Dale Askey and McMaster University

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association stands with a number of other associations in support of Dale Askey and McMaster University in their defense against the lawsuit issued by Edwin Mellen Press.  This is an unfortunate attack on academic and professional freedom and an affront to our efforts as library workers to encourage open and critical evaluation of information.  We encourage Edwin Mellon Press to drop this suit and engage with the library community in a more useful dialogue.

For more information on this lawsuit see Confessions of a Science Librarian.

NLLA Executive

Newfoundland & Labrador Libraries Get in the Festive Spirit!

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Newfoundland & Labrador Library Association! To fill you with holiday cheer, we thought we’d share some pics of libraries in our province decked and festooned for the season. Special thanks to Erin Alcock, Angela Menchion, Kelly Hatch, Chris Young, Louise McGillis, Jane Matthews (Fox), and Patsy Bowers for sending in pics of their creative decorations!

Impressive tree at the Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University, in St. John’s.


Festive reindeer at the Pasadena Public Library! And books under the tree…the perfect gift!

Pasadena Public LibraryPasadenaPublic02








A Christmas tree made out of books at the Health Sciences Library, Memorial University, in St. John’s.


Candy-Wonderland at Churchill Falls Public Library (and, yes, those are REAL gingerbread houses!):


Glitzy-glam retro Christmas at the Ferriss Hodgett Library, Grenfell Campus of Memorial University, in Corner Brook.










Stockings hung by a fire at Tilley Memorial Public Library in King’s Point.


Santa’s Village & holiday-themed book display at Grand Bank Memorial Public Library


MUN Not Signing Access Copyright Licence

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Dr. David Wardlaw, provost and vice president (academic) announced today that Memorial University will not be signing the model licence agreement negotiated between the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and Access Copyright. Interestingly he said it was “After considerable analysis of the pros and cons of such an agreement, extensive input from individuals and groups on campus as well as from provincial and national organizations.” The NLLA is one of the many groups who had voiced concerns about the proposed model licence.

Memorial University should be commended for setting this example and rejecting an agreement which did not balance the rights of users with the rights of publishers and creators and which placed unreasonable restrictions on access to information. They join 9 other academic institutions (UPDATE, July 11: There are now 15!) who are also not signing.

Read the full news release here:

“Revised” AUCC Model Licence Still Not Acceptable

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Memorial University announced today that “they received a revised AUCC Model Licence from Access Copyright which incorporates changes suggested by AUCC member institutions. As even Memorial University noted, “the changes are minor”.

None of the issues pointed out by the NLLA such as the problematic definition of copying or the restrictions that impact research, teaching and learning, are part of the revisions and remain unchanged. The NLLA does not see the revised license as an improvement and continues to advise Memorial University not to sign it.

Eight Canadian universities have already publicly stated that they will not sign the model license, including University of British Columbia, Athabasca University, University of Windsor, University of Winnipeg, York University, University of New Brunswick, University of Waterloo, and Mount Royal University.

The revised license can be viewed on Memorial University’s copyright webpage.

NLLA Mentioned in Tuesday’s Telegram

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Telegram columnist Russell Wangersky had an interesting take on NLLA President Crystal Rose’s CBC radio interview about the proposed Access Copyright licence. Although he seems to be on the opposite side of the debate, we are pleased that this important issue is receiving some much needed media coverage in the province.

Check out his article “There’s More Than One Kind of Thievery” including Ms. Rose’s comments. We encourage NLLA members to weigh in!

NLLA President interviewed by Weekend Arts Magazine

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On Sunday, current NLLA President Crystal Rose was interviewed on CBC Radio’s Weekend Arts Magazine about how Librarians across the province are opposing a new Access Copyright agreement Memorial University is considering signing:

Fair Dealing’s Hall of Fame/Hall of Shame

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Want to keep track of which post-secondary institutions are signing the licence agreement with Access Copyright and which ones aren’t? Ariel Katz, Associate Professor at U of T’s Faculty of Law, has an excellent site where universities who have publicly announced they are not signing the agreement are inducted into the “Hall of Fame” and those who have signed the licence are relegated to the “Hall of Shame.” Universities who have released a letter-of-intent to sign but have not yet actually signed the agreement are currently listed in “purgatory.”

Check it out:

NLLA disappointed that MUN intends to sign costly copyright agreement

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On May 15, 2012, Memorial University’s Vice-Presidents’ Council approved signing a letter of intent to accept a model licence negotiated between the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and Access Copyright (AC), the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency. Although this decision is non-binding, the fact that Memorial University is even considering accepting a deal that, as it is currently worded, has restrictions that seriously impact research, teaching and learning and will cost an estimated $400,000 per year, is of great concern.

Memorial University had opted out of licensing agreements with AC, along with over 30 other Canadian universities and colleges, due to AC’s proposed post-secondary tariff. The tariff represented a significant increase in per-student fees, the introduction of what many consider to be intrusive and impractical monitoring requirements, and the assigning of rights to AC that do not exist under Canadian law.

The AUCC had been representing Memorial University and other Canadian Universities and Colleges in the Copyright Board post-secondary tariff hearing, arguing against the tariff, but recently withdrew from the hearing after negotiating a model license agreement with AC. The NLLA had previously released a statement reviewing the model license and strongly advising universities and colleges not to sign it.

While some universities have publicly stated similar intentions to sign the AC licence agreement, others such as the University of British Columbia, Athabasca University, the University of Windsor, and the University of Winnipeg have all decided against it. UBC’s May 15 statement released by David H. Farrar, Provost and Vice President Academic (Vancouver) and Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal (Okanagan) states “We believe we are taking the bolder, more principled and sustainable option, which best serves the fundamental and long-term interests of our academic community.”

In the statement released by Memorial, Dr. David Wardlaw, provost and vice-president (academic) says “Signing this letter of intent allows us to undertake further consultations, to seek clarification of details of some of the terms in the model licence and to compare thoroughly the benefits and costs of signing versus not signing the new licence.” The NLLA sincerely hopes that the university does not sign the agreement with its current wording intact, and that the “clarification of details” will involve negotiations on some of the questionable and controversial terms that will have long-term consequences for the future of access to online information in Canada.

Memorial University’s statement also refers to “certain retroactive discounts offered on the new licence.” The NLLA does not see an annual $26.00 per full-time student fee as an incentive, nor could it be described as a “discount” when it represents a roughly 800% increase from what Memorial University was previously paying. This month, after the province’s budget was released, the University announced that it needs to find almost $4 million in savings. The NLLA questions how the University can concede to paying the exorbitant fees being demanded by AC, especially since much of what they will be paying for is already permitted for free.

The deadline to actually sign the AC licence agreement is June 30, 2012. This gives Memorial University time to re-consider its intentions of signing and the NLLA urges they do so.

UPDATE (June 18, 2012): Since this post, 4 more universities have decided not to sign the letter of intent: York University, University of New Brunswick, University of Waterloo, and Mount Royal University, bringing the total number to 8.

MUN’s Students’ Union Urging Administration to Reject Model License

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Yesterday, Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’  Union, Marine Institute Students’ Union, Grenfell Campus Students’ Union, and the Graduate Students’ Union released an open letter to the university’s Copyright Action Committee and the university community.  Their letter makes it clear that students are “very concerned about some of the clauses contained within the Access Copyright agreement and believe that the new $26 fee is unjustified.” The students’ unions  “urge the administration to stand firm in their decision to provide for the needs of our campus without signing on to an agreement with Access Copyright.”

They also point out that both the faculty association MUNFA and the NLLA have written open statements to the university urging them to reject the model license, and say they “support the messages of those groups unequivocally.”

Read the entire letter.