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.

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