Government of Canada to Muzzle LAC Librarians

If you haven’t read about the LAC’s new Code of Conduct, the National Post has the issues well covered. The following section in particular is the portion of the Code (available online) that has most Librarians up in arms:

4.4.2 Teaching, speaking at conferences, and other personal engagements

On occasion, LAC employees may be asked by third parties to teach or to speak at or be a guest at conferences as a personal activity or part-time employment. Such activities have been identified as high risk to LAC and to the employee with regard to conflict of interest, conflict of duties and duty of loyalty.

Librarians wouldn’t be the first, of course. That honour would go to this country’s scientists who want funding.

Following CLA’s criticism of the code, CALL has since thrown in its support. A move that happened earlier this week, and one that makes me proud to be a member.

Usually I’m pretty even keel with this kind of stuff. But this is insane… Teaching? Speaking at conferences? Librarians?!? For crying out loud, we need to be better at the basics here: freedom of speech, public scrutiny, intellectual freedom. These are the people who maintain our Country’s visible heritage, who are being asked to cull their services, and then (insert a ‘gulp’ sound)… told to shut up about it!?! Welcome to True North Strong and Free-ish.

Shameful move. I hope it gets more coverage in the press.


  1. The “loyalty” provision of the code can be found in this earlier posting on Slaw.

  2. Is there a similar code provision for Department of Justice lawyers?