Progressive Librarians Guild London Chapter is very concerned about the recent lawsuit filed against Associate University Librarian Dale Askey and his employer McMaster University by Edwin Mellen Press (EMP) for alleged libel and defamation. Mr. Askey stated his professional opinion on a personal blog about the quality of publishing by EMP. Assessing the quality of materials and expressing opinions, whether of a positive or negative nature, is one of the basic expectations of a professional librarian.
Progressive Librarians Guild London Chapter strongly supports Mr. Askey as he faces this challenge. We commend McMaster University for backing Mr. Askey and standing up for the academic rights of its faculty and librarians. We urge all academic institutions and fellow professional librarians to unite and take a stand against this affront to academic freedom.
Freedom of expression is a requirement for a democratic society and is a value held by Canadians. Thus, EMP’s aggressive tactics toward the stifling of this fundamental right are deeply troubling. We condemn EMP for this lawsuit and urge them to withdraw their claims against both Mr. Askey and McMaster University.
The Progressive Librarians Guild (London Chapter)
Dated 1 March 2013