Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vancouver Strike: Good Coverage; Solidarity Among Librarians & No Coverage by LIS Educators [JESSE] List

We will remember.
Below are a selection of messages from librarians in solidarity with the Library Workers of Vancouver.
Following these is the interchange from the JESSE list-- [LIS educators list]--stating that the Vancouver Library Worker action has no importance to library education.
This is the view of the moderator of LIS education's primary announcement list [JESSE].

Please spread the word: Vancouver library workers’ struggle is our struggle. An injury to one is an injury to all. Support the Vancouver library workers!

The Progressive Librarians Guild sent a message of support on August 1, 2007:

The Progressive Librarians Guild stands in solidarity with the striking Vancouver Public Library workers of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 391 as they fight for a fair and equitable contract that addresses pay equity, improvements to employee benefits, access to training, fair treatment of part-time and auxiliary library workers, protection against contracting-out and technological change.

Approved August 1, 2007 by the Progressive Librarians Guild, Coordinating Committee.

This message was sent to the Executive Board of CUPE Local 391 on August 4, on behalf of SFPL library workers:

CUPE 391 Executive Board and all workers of the Vancouver Public Library:

On behalf of the library workers at San Francisco Public Library, we stand in solidarity with you in your struggle to win pay equity, job security, and a fair contract with the city of Vancouver. Every one of us must be able to earn a living wage, have excellent health care, and not live in fear of the very real threat of contracting out. Your struggle is our struggle. We support and honor you, and look forward to a successful resolution to contract negotiations.

In solidarity,

Catherine M. Bremer
Andrea V. Grimes
Melissa Riley
Vicki Susoev
Betty Williams
Officers, San Francisco Public Library Chapter, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 1021

This is the latest at Union Librarian


ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship.08/11/07


Vancouver librarians currently earn $7 less per hour than those in Toronto, which falls under Ontario's provincial pay-equity legislation.

Vancouver's three striking unions accused the city late yesterday of refusing to negotiate properly since negotiations resumed a week ago, leading the city to declare that talks had officially broken down because the unions ended the news media blackout.
A news media blackout had been in effect for a week, with no information escaping from either side. However, the union presidents decided to break that ban yesterday to discuss their frustration at how slowly negotiations had been progressing.
Alex Youngberg, the president of CUPE 391, the library workers union, said the library board refused to discuss pay equity, which has been the library workers' biggest concern since the beginning of the strike.

Marjorie Griffin Cohen, a professor of political science and women's studies at Simon Fraser University, said B.C. is one of the few provinces that do not have pay-equity legislation.

"That's why, when unions are negotiating for it, it's absolutely crucial, because that's the only way they're going to get it," Dr. Cohen said.

Find out more about the Vancouver strike here:

CUPE Local 391

CUPE’s Bargaining Blog

Union Librarian

Library Journal

Vancouver Sun:

And the City side:

City of Vancouver

No thanks to (for lack of support /censorship):
Library education discussion group [jESSE]
For rejecting Kathleen de la Pẽna McCook’s (Union Librarian blog) request to post information about the strike.
Here’s the original message, dated 8/5/07:

“I tried to send a post to the library education discussion group [JESSE] about the Vancouver strike, but it was rejected as not relevant to library education.

Here is the response I received from the JESSE moderator when I inquired:
This is off topic - it has to do with librarians, and not LIS education. jESSE is focused on LIS Education, and not on librarians or libraries.

As important as this topic is, there are other sources from which to receive such announcements for those who are interested in them.

If the general topic of "librarians" were included in the scope of jESSE, I'd have to forward the entire contents of AUTOCAT, the ALA Council list, and who knows what else. And that would be a mess.

jESSE is not a general "library" or "Librarian" list, it is tightly focused on the education of librarians and information scientists, and their research, teaching, and service concerns.



“Here is the message I sent that was rejected.:

The Vancouver Library Workers have been on strike for a week. I have a lot of entries and today posted a very moving video-clip about the 'Read-In.' Some of the striking librarians are wearing signs that say "Sam's Strike." The mayor is Sam Sullivan. More information plus a link to short and artful video clip are here:

Kathleen de la Peña McCook

And this is taken directly from the jESSE description of their listserv (bold and red type my additions.—AG)

jESSE is a listserv discussion group that, since 1994, promotes discussion of library and information science education issues in a world-wide context. It addresses issues of curricula, administration, research, and education theory and practice as they relate to information science issues in general, and in general academia as the membership feels so moved. It is one of the primary outlets for faculty position announcements in LIS. Specific queries on lost resources and other minutia are welcome, as are broader questions for general discussion.

While anyone can join the listserv, messages sent to subscribers are moderated.

The listserv also serves as the official electronic "channel" for the Association for Library and Information Science Education, because of its widespread reach - and by request from the Association. It is, however, NOT a project of ALISE. It is an independent project moderated by Dr. Gretchen Whitney of the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences, and any questions regarding its composition or operation should be directed to her at

In solidarity!

Andrea Grimes

Andrea V. Grimes
Special Collections Librarian
Book Arts& Special Collections
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
p: 415.557.4560 f: 415.437.4849

I was lucky enough to fall in love with what was in books, thanks to a public library. --Tillie Olsen, 1912-2007