Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thank-you FLIFers!

A huge thanks to all of the FLIF-ers who came out over the past two weeks to help us sort the many (many!) boxes of donated books in Henderson Hall and for our amazing volunteer team who helped out making Homeless Connect a success.            

 On Sunday, Oct 17th FLIF participated in Edmonton Homeless Connect where we distributed free books to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. Book donations were generously provided by EPL, the University of Alberta Libraries and FLIF members.

Our early morning team unloaded the truck and set up our booth and we kept the tables stocked throughout the day.

This is one of FLIF's biggest events of the year and we distributed over 20 boxes of books.

A huge thank you to everyone who participated and we hope to see you back for the next Homeless Connect in May 2011.

*all photos by Jorden and Shannon, your FLIF 2010/2011 co-chairs

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FLIF Book Sorting Pary

Don't forget that the FLIF book sorting party will be tomorrow (Friday Oct 15th) from noon until about 3 or 4pm (depending on how long it takes) in Henderson Hall.
We will be packing up a ton of materials for Homeless Connect this Sunday as well as our Community Bookshelf project.
Hope to see you tomorrow - even if you don't have time to sort some books stop by for some snacks and a quick chat, we would love to hear your ideas for FLIF for the upcoming year!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

CBC Bans the Use of Creative Commons Music on Podcasts

The producers of Spark, CBC radio’s digital culture show which has often used Creative Commons music in their broadcasts and podcasts have revealed that the public broadcaster has banned them from using CC music.

Evident from the excerpts of user comments from the Spark blog included below, the CBC has banned the use of CC licensed music from their podcasts because it goes “against some of the details in collective agreements [the CBC] hold(s) with certain talent agencies.”

In other words, groups are actively working to block the use of Creative Commons licensed materials in their contractual agreements. It is extremely problematic and discouraging to hear that the CBC is banned from using CC materials that the artists want to make freely available. The CBC obviously isn't required to use Creative Commons licensed music, but this highlights an instance where at least one of it’s programs wants to use it and groups that purport to support artists' right to choose the rights associated with their work is trying to stop them from doing so.

Comments from the Spark blog:

@mattperreault (listener, via twitter): I was looking for the links to the "Creative Commons" music used in this episode. I can't find the link? Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place?

Dan Misener (Spark producer): Hi, Matt. You're not looking in the wrong place. There's simply no Creative Commons music used in this episode. By management decree, CBC podcasts are no longer permitted to use CC music. Instead, we're using the APM Music library (, which is copyright cleared and fully licensed by the CBC.

Lily (CBC Radio Podcasting): It turned out that our use of Creative Commons licensed music was going against some of the details in collective agreements we hold with certain talent agencies. As such, we had to discontinue our use of it.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Social Justice in the Stacks: Progressive Activism in the Information Professions

The new Edmonton chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) is presenting a panel discussion at SLIS about the intersections between social justice and the information and library professions. Admission is free and the event will be on Thursday, November 4th at 7pm in Henderson Hall on the U of Alberta campus.

Social equality issues such as access to information, documentation of society, and free distribution of knowledge are core principles of modern libraries and archives.  However, these principles are often de-accentuated in the day-to-day management of libraries and archives and information professionals can find themselves detached from a social justice perspective.
Topics discussed will include academic freedom, professionals as workers, access to archival holdings, representation of marginalized voices, public libraries as sites of contention, and the purpose of the PLG.  Speakers include the following (please note that speakers are not appearing on behalf of their respective institutions):
  • Toni Samek – Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta
  • Amanda Bird – Librarian, Edmonton Public Library
  • Braden Cannon – Archivist, Provincial Archives of Alberta/University of Calgary
  • Raymond Frogner – Archivist, University of Alberta
  • Rene Georgopalis – Archivist, Musée Héritage Museum and Archives (St. Albert)
For more information about PLG and this panel discussion you can visit their main website:

Monday, October 04, 2010

GELA Beers Beyond Bars Pub Night this Friday!

The Greater Edmonton Library Association is hosting their 2010 Pub Night this Friday, Oct 8th from 6pm-10pm at Ceilis' Irish Pub in Edmonton (10338 109th St) 
This event raises money to support GELA's Prison Library and Reintegration Committee projects and is a great way to meet some very cool library folk in Edmonton. Tickets are $10 (which includes a free drink before 10pm and snacks)

There will be a raffle draw at 9pm.

Although there will be a limited number of tickets available at the door, it would be best if you could email Tara ( to reserve your spot.

 For more information about the GELA Prison Library Project, GELA and LISAA check out the links below:



Prison Library and Reintegration Committee

Google Tracking International Government Censorship

Last week BBC reported on a new Google resource that maps online censorship, displaying the frequency different national governments requested information about web users and censor online services.

Information on China (as Slashdot points out) is conspicuously absent. This is an interesting development as Google has increasingly come under criticism for handing over information about users to governments and cooperating with China's desire to heavily censor what online content is available to it's citizens.

What do you think about Google's online practices and the way they deal with censor-heavy nations like China? As online information and what users do on social networking sites and read online becomes increasingly available for scrutiny what responsibilities do companies like Google, governments and international organization have to internet users?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Where, Why and How the Economist is Censored

The Economist recently published an article about the countries that have banned the popular magazine and for what reasons since 2009. The reasons range from geo-political arguments to nudity (see the cover depicting Adam and Eve below) to religious conflicts. 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Ellen Hopkins' Anti-Censorship Manifesto

Thanks to Jen for sending this great article from the Huffington Post about one author's experience dealing with censorship.

Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank and Glass, who explores controversial topics in her writing such as addiction, prostitution, suicide and violence has encountered her share of censors who have lobbied to ban her books and cancel speaking engagements. In this article she eloquently describe her work and events she was invited to speak at and then subsequently blocked by various authority figures. 

Interestingly, in Hopkins' experience librarians have both rallied to her defense, pushing to have her speak to their students and communities, as well as acting to prevent her from speaking at their schools. At a recent teen lit event Hopkins was removed from the speakers panel due to complaints about her subject matter. Subsequently the event was cancelled when the other YA authors scheduled refused to support an event that would censor a member of their community. 

At the end of this article Hopkins includes the fantastic Manifesto she wrote for Banned Books Week 2009 I want to reproduce here in it's entirety - click here for a pdf version

To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.
You say you're afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption

by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.
You say you're afraid for America,
the red, white, and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.
You say you're afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.
A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Operation Dark Heart - more info

The censorship of the original version of Operation Dark Heart has been making the rounds through national and international news sources. It is nice to see this issue getting so much attention and it is encouraging to know that people have not become complicit in literary censorship, even when it involves nationalistic and military events.
To see some additional coverage of this story check out this video:

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by

you can also get more information from the official book site:
Operation Dark Heart

Time Magazine also has a brief article about the controversy and some interesting links to more information about book banning and Banned Books Week in the US