Friday, September 27, 2013

Tips from Barbara Pilek

Update October 1: some of you might have an opportunity to make good use of these tips, as the Library of Parliament is currently advertising for a research librarian 

As promised here are some tips from Barbara Pilek:

In terms of preparing for future positions:
  • Develop your search and research skills
  • Get some experience in a library on a co-op, intern or volunteer basis
  • Ensure that your résumé covers all of the requirements listed in the job poster and indicates whether you are bilingual
  • Study for competitions to show that you are interested in the position and willing to make an effort to prepare for the competition.
  • Study for the knowledge requirements listed in the poster.  For example, for our reference positions, develop your knowledge of parliamentary and current affairs, and of databases and reference sources in political science or legislative affairs
  • For each requirement on a job poster poster, try to imagine 2-3 questions that might be asked to determine whether you have that particular knowledge, experience or skill.  You may be able to find job help websites that provide questions and/or answers to common interview questions.
  • If you have trouble coming up with examples from your experiences in an interview setting, prepare in advance by coming up with examples from your experience that illustrate the skills and experience listed in the poster
  • Find a fellow student who is willing to practice asking and answering questions that relate the posted requirements and your background
  • If the employer mentions the possibility of a follow-up after the interview/exam, take them up on it, and learn from the feedback.

Reference Databases for Parliamentary and Political Affairs

EBSCO / Academic Search
Political Science Abstracts or Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (WPSA)
Proquest Political Science

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)
Canadian Periodical Index (CPI)

Index to Canadian Legal Literature or Legal Periodicals

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Some responses to open government consultation

The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association's response may be of interest especially if your term paper might be on access to information or open government

Democracy Watch response

The British Columbia Library Association's statement is linked from

The Centre for Law and Democracy's statement is available via

Individual submissions are posted at (haven't checked the link)

Of further interest, Vincent Gogolek's editorial on the consultation process in the Huffington Post Canada: "Stephen Harper's Secret Open Data Survey"

(from the Open Government list)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Canadian Library Association Government Information Network

The CLA Government Information Network maintains a blog. Recent activity includes participating in the preparation of the CLA response to the open government consultation (another awesome example of an advocacy brief!). Thanks to network Moderator Caron Rollins.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Canadian government information private LOCKSS network

A new initiative worth looking at - possibly a term paper topic or emerging topic for the last class?

(thanks to our astute Director Lynne Bowker for the tip)

Friday, September 20, 2013

CanLII hackathon videos now available

The CanLII hackathon is a great fit with the topic for next Monday's class, on laws and regulations. For those unable to attend the hackathon, note that the videos are now available on the CanLII website.

Suzanne Legault's presentation (see the first video) is worth watching for anyone interested in Access to Information.

There will be a brief period for discussing the hackathon at Monday's class, so if anyone who would like to share their perspectives whether you've attended in-person, virtually, or watched presentation,  there will be time.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Advocacy brief assignment for September 30: examples

Following are just a few examples of advocacy briefs to consider for your September 30 assignment - remember yours only needs to be one page long!

The Canadian Library Associations' Pre-Budget Consultation 2013 submission:

Joint Statement on Qualities of a Successful Librarian and Archivist of Canada

British Columbia Library Association (BCLA)  Letter re: New Librarian and Archivist of Canada

BCLA response to consultation on Canada's Action Plan on Open Government

Open access submission to Canada's Digital Economy consultation

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

CanLII registration - let me know if you'd like me to register you.

Registration for the CanLII conference and hackathon requires either LinkedIn or Facebook. If you prefer not to use these tools to register (for privacy reasons?), but would like to attend, please let me know and I'll register you.

Library of Parliament Tour: update - to be rescheduled

We'll need to reschedule as neither the 2nd nor the 9th will work - we'll discuss the options with Barbara Pilek when she comes to speak to class on Monday.

Original message follows - hope this isn't too confusing!

Our Library of Parliament tour has been confirmed for Wednesday, October 2nd at 3:00 p.m. RSVPs are required as a list of names must be provided for security purposes. We can gather names at next Monday's class.

Update: October 2nd is still somewhat tentative. Our alternative will be October 9th. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Welcome to Information Policy and Government Publications (ISI 5164)

Now available: resources for Nov. 4  class. 

This is a blog for ISI 5164, Information Policy and Government Publications, a course that I am teaching in the fall of 2013 for the University of Ottawa's École des sciences de l'information / School of Information Studies. The course is taught in English, but students may contribute assignments and discussion in either English or French according to the University of Ottawa's policy on bilingualism, and I may do some teaching in French as well in the spirit of proactive bilingualism of our school. For the most part this is a senior seminar-based course with minimal lecture material so posting to this blog is likely to be infrequent. 

One of the reasons for creating this blog is to link to the readings from this course, as open access readings will be selected to the greatest extent possible. The course syllabus can be viewed from here: 

The future of government publication is likely to involve working with open data. Students have an exceptional opportunity to participate in the CanLII hackathon coming up September 13 - 14 in the Desmarais Building! Registration is free, and recommended. You can sign up for just one of the days. 

Here are the readings for September 16:

Birdsall, W.F. Libraries, communication rights, and access in a digital world. In: Adams, K. & W.F. Birdsall (eds).,  Access to information in a digital world. Canadian Library Association, 2004., p. 151-171. PDF will be provided to students for free, thanks to CLA. Let me know if you have not received a link to download the book from me by the end of the day on September 9.
Trosow, Samuel E. A holistic model of information policy. Feliciter 56:2, March 2010.

Readings for September 23, the "readings" are a combination of light / FAQ type reading and a set of resources to become a little bit familiar with. Try a little bit of searching or browsing a number of government sites with a view to finding laws and regulations.

How Parliament Works / FAQ on how bills become laws

Debates (Hansard) - experiment with searching using the index or keywords

Transport Canada regulations. Can you spot regulations that might be of interest to people in Lac Mégantic?

Justice Canada - consolidated regulations 

Government of Ontario e-laws

National Capital Commission: Regulations

By-laws: City of Ottawa

Ville de Gatineau – Règlements municipaux

On September 30, the assignment due is an advocacy brief for library services relating to government policy (e.g. need for federal government libraries or Library and Archives Canada). By an interesting coincidence, the Royal Society of Canada has formed an Expert Panel of the Status and Future of Canada's Libraries and Archives which is currently in the process of consultations on this question. The Protocols for Public Consultations of the Royal Society of Canada says that "All persons must be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard or to file written submissions" from Students may wish to tailor this assignment as a submission to this consultation process. Update: the Expert Panel is keeping a blog
(thanks to the CLA Government Information Network) 
Sample advocacy briefs are posted here

Readings for September 30: your choice of two articles from the 2012 Best Practices for Government Libraries. Be prepared to share highlights of your selected articles at the October 7th class. Note for discussion purposes that this document is published by Lexis Nexis.

Also on September 30 is the reception for the ÉSIS accreditation committee from 5:30 - 7:00. Class is cancelled and all students are invited to attend. On September 9th the class agreed that in lieu of this class students will attend one alternative event (e.g. either September 13 or 14th of the CanLII Hackathon, Nov. 8 or part of Nov. 9th Media Democracy Days, and report back to class (whether in-person or via blog or twitter. There are no marks for this assignment. Students may suggest additional alternative events.

Readings for October 7

Groover, M. (2013). LAC Code of Conduct: First Look and My Ideal LAC Code of Conduct Press Release. Bibliocracy, March 2013.  

Dupuis, J.  (2013). The Canadian War on Science: a long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment. Confessions of a science librarian.

Readings for October 21 (Open Access Week)

Watch for OA Week events at uO library and everywhere

Morrison, H. (2012).  What is open access? and open access policy. From: Chapter 6, Open access. Freedom for scholarship in the information age. Doctoral dissertation, Simon Fraser University. Pages 44 - 47 and 71-77. Retrieved September 23, 2013 from

Morrison, H. (2013). Kudos to the UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee: important steps in the right direction. The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2013 from
Suber, P. (2012). Chapter 4: Policies. From: Open access. Cambridge, Massachussetts: MIT Press. Retrieved September 23, 2013 from

Readings for Nov. 4 class - Open Government

Dupuis, J. (2013). The Canadian War on Science: a long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological incident. Confessions of a science librarian. Retrieved Oct. 2013 from
(read the bibliography, select one item to report on in class)
Government of Canada. Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government. Retrieved Oct. 2013 from
Canadian Library Association (2013). Response to Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government. Retrieved Oct. 2013 from
Government of Canada. 1985. Access to Information Act. Retrieved Oct. 2013 from

Readings for Dec. 2 class 


Canadian Government Information Private LOCKSS Network

OCUL Trusted Digital Repository. Browse some of the links to get a sense of the work involved in becoming a trusted digital repository.


BC Civil Liberties Association. 2013.  More than 30 organizations uniting to protect Canadians' privacy rights. Read one or more of the articles linked under "more information" and be prepared to discuss.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. 2013. Human rights groups to the UN: reject mass surveillance. Attempt by the "5-eyes" nations (Canada is one) to dilute anti-surveillance language fails.