Guy Berthiaume appointed as Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover today announced the appointment of Guy Berthiaume as Librarian and Archivist of Canada for a term of five years, effective June 23, 2014.

Quick Facts

  • Dr. Berthiaume has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec since 2009. Before this, he spent thirty years as a senior university administrator.
  • He has published a number of articles and has served on the boards and committees of numerous organizations.
  • A recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Dr. Berthiaume holds a doctorate in history from the École pratique des hautes études and the Université de Paris VIII, a Master of Arts degree from the Université Laval in Québec City and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal.


Guy Berthiaume nommé au poste de bibliothécaire et archiviste du Canada

La ministre du Patrimoine canadien et des Langues officielles, Shelly Glover, a annoncé aujourd’hui la nomination de Guy Berthiaume au poste de bibliothécaire et archiviste du Canada pour une période de cinq ans. M. Berthiaume occupera ses nouvelles fonctions dès le 23 juin 2014.

Les faits en bref

  • M. Berthiaume est président-directeur général de Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec depuis 2009. Auparavant, il a œuvré dans le milieu universitaire pendant 30 ans à titre d’administrateur supérieur.
  • Il est l’auteur de nombreux articles, en plus d’avoir siégé aux comités et conseils d’administration de multiples organismes.
  • M. Berthiaume a reçu une Médaille du Jubilé de diamant de Sa Majesté la reine Elizabeth II. Il détient un doctorat en histoire de l’École pratique des hautes études et de l’Université de Paris VIII, une maîtrise ès arts de l’Université Laval (à Québec), ainsi qu’un baccalauréat ès arts de l’Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Bibliothèque et Archives Canada est une institution de savoir novatrice responsable d’acquérir et de préserver le patrimoine documentaire du Canada sous ses multiples formes et de fournir aux Canadiens un point d’accès unique et simple aux textes, aux photographies et aux autres documents qui témoignent du développement culturel, social et politique du pays.

@CLA__GIN on Twitter + New Co-Moderator

Interested in keeping more up to date with government information? You can now follow the CLA-GIN network on Twitter!

Follow the handle @CLA__GIN – tag us in posts so we can share more information with the community.

We’d also like to announce our new CLA-GIN Co-Moderator, Catherine McGoveran. Catherine is currently the Government Information Librarian at the University of Ottawa.

Catherine McGoveran

Caron Rollins

Government Transparency and the Internet

Canadians are finally getting passionate about government as our own government drama unfolds. While it’s great to see, one can’t help but compare ourselves to our neighbours once again. While Obama has moved towards transparency in government with things like, youtube addresses and soliciting feedback, Canadian government seems to be doing little for transparency. Many meetings are still closed door and the copyright bill seems like it will be created without feedback again once the government returns. CBC’s Spark program recently did a great podcast on the government and the Internet. How do you think the government is doing with transparency?

OLA Super Conference

Just a reminder that the early bird registration for the OLA Super Conference is Nov. 30. Sessions that may be of interest to gov pubs librarians include:

  •  Statistical Literacy at the Reference Desk – Suzette Giles, Laine Ruus, Jeff Moon (Friday, February 2, 9:05-10:20)
  • Map It! On-line Mapping Services and Your Library – Andrew Nicholson (Friday, February 2 , 2:10-3:25)
  • CODOC to LC: THe Long and Winding Road -Jim Ford, Cary Daniel (Friday February 2, 3:45- 5:00)

I also hope to have an informal gathering of gov pubs librarians  who are able to attend the conference, so keep your eyes out for details.

IASSIST 2007 Call for Papers


The theme for the 33rd annual conference of the International Association
for Social Science Information Service and Technology (IASSIST) is
participation on May 16-18, 2007 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The
conference will be preceded by a day of workshops on May 15 and followed
by a weekend of optional activities in the Montreal area. Details about
the conference and IASSIST are available at

The theme, Building Global Knowledge Communities with Open Data,
focuses our attention on the ever increasing globalization of knowledge
and the importance of the “open data” concept in the development of
knowledge communities. The conference will explore the inter-
relationship of knowledge communities with open data. What is
required to make data more “open” and available; what are the
outcomes from open data; and what is the role of the data community
in helping this happen?

With this announcement, we seek proposals for papers, sessions, panel
discussions, poster/demonstration sessions and workshops on topics that
address all aspects of the conference’s theme, including:

* open data and the development of knowledge communities
* the principles of open data
* open data and its implications for documentation, metadata
dissemination, preservation, curation and data authentication
* new data partnerships in knowledge communities
* e-science, cyberinfrastructure and open data
* open data and digital repositories
* developing trusted data repositories in knowledge communities
* open data and issues of confidentiality and disclosure
* the development of statistical literacy in knowledge communities
* developing an agenda for open data literacy
* open spatial data and GIS
* open data and the role of the data librarian
* life cycle models for managing data in knowledge communities
* empirical research results on any of these areas

For other key topics see previous IASSIST Conferences at

The deadline for these proposals is January 16, 2007.


Individual presentation proposals and session proposals are welcome.
Proposals for complete sessions, typically a panel of three to four
presentations within a 90-minute session, should provide information
on the focus of the session, the organizer or moderator, and possible
participants. The session organizer or moderator will be responsible
for securing session participants, some of whom may submit paper
proposals independently.

Workshops are typically for half a day (3 hours) and may include a
hands-on component. Proposals should provide an outline of the content
the workshop seeks to cover and the names of the presenters

Proposals should include the proposed title, an abstract (limited to
150 words) and 3 to 5 keywords based on the focus of the session.

All proposals (paper, session, poster/demonstration and workshops)
can be submitted using the online submission form under Call for
Papers on the 2007 Conference site soon to be available via the
IASSIST conference webpage,

Alternatively proposals may be sent via email to <>.
Please use a subject heading of “Paper proposal – Your
Name”, “Session proposal – Your Name”,”Poster/Demonstration – Your name”
or “Workshop – Your Name” replacing “Your Name” with
the name of the author/session etc. organizer.

Following the January 16, 2007 deadline, the Conference Program Committee
will send notification of the acceptance of proposals on or before
February 15, 2007.

All presenters are required to register and pay the registration fee for
the conference. Registration for individual days will be available.

Further information on travel and accommodation will be available
shortly from the IASSIST ’07 Conference website:

Online conference registration is scheduled to open in early February

Make plans to come to Montreal for IASSIST 2007 on May 15-18, 2007!


IASSIST is an international organization of professionals working in and
with information technology and data services to support research and
teaching in the social sciences. The organization also explores issues
of access, stewardship and the interconnections among social science,
behavioral, biological, and health data. Typical workplaces include
quantitative and qualitative data archives/libraries, statistical agencies,
research centers, libraries, academic departments, government departments,
and non-profit organizations. For further information see the IASSIST
website at

IASSIST conferences bring together data professionals, data producers, and
data analysts from around the world for presentations and workshops covering
new and persistent issues relating to access to data, its documentation, and
digital preservation, with special emphasis on the social sciences. The social
sciences have a long history of data sharing activity which will make the
conference of interest to colleagues in disciplines where improving data
access practices is on the policy agenda, and where there are clear overlaps
with digital curation, data publishing, e-science/ cyberinfrastructure
initiatives, and new interdisciplinary collaborations

Law Commission Closure

Anyone wishing to sign the letter [below] should contact 

Dr. Darin Barney at directly.

Dear Friends,

Some of you will know me from past Law Commission Advisory Councils,
some of you I have not had the pleasure of meeting. I served on the
Advisory Council from 2000-2005.

As you will have heard, as part of the Conservative government’s cuts
announced Monday, the Law Commission is slated for closure. I am
hoping you will agree that this is terrible development that should be

To that end, in consultation with past Commission Presidents Nathalie
Desrosiers and Roderick MacDonald, I have composed an open letter to
the Minister of Justice urging the government to reconsider this
decision. I am hoping you will join June Callwood and me in signing
this letter.
The letter is pasted below. As time is short, I would ask you to
refrain from making editorial suggestions – of course, if you have
serious objections to its content that prevent you from signing please
let me know and we can think about a modification. Once I have
gathered signatures I will send the letter to the Minister and Justice
critics from the other parties. I am also now in the process of
attempting to place the letter for publication in the national
newspapers, either as an op-ed piece or in the form of an open letter.
If it is the latter, it is likely that the newspaper will insist on
listing only a representative sample of signatories, followed by an
indication of the number of others (in this event, please do not be
offended if your name does not appear under the published version –
all names will be listed under the letter sent to the minister).

So, if you agree to sign the letter pasted below, please indicate this
in a reply to this email (to avoid cluttering people’s mailboxes, do
not press “reply all”), indicating your name and title/affiliation as
you would like it listed on the letter.

Thanks very much,


Darin Barney, PhD

Canada Research Chair in Technology and Citizenship
Associate Professor and Chair
Dept. of Art History and Communication Studies
McGill University
853 Sherbrooke Street West
Montréal, QC
H3A 2T6
voice: 514.398.5683
fax: 514.398.7247

An open letter to Mr. Vic Toews, Minister of Justice, Canada

26 September 2006.

Dear Mr. Minister,

As part of a package of program and spending cuts announced on
September 25, the Government of Canada has decided to close the Law
Commission of Canada. As former and present members of the
Commission’s citizens’ Advisory Council, researchers who have
contributed to the Commission’s work, and citizens who recognize the
importance of its contributions to justice in Canada, we ask that you
reconsider this action and restore funding to this vital and important

In 1992, a previous government abolished Canada’s path-breaking Law
Reform Commission. It took five years before the federal government
realized the value of what had been lost, and established the new
Commission in 1997. We urge you to avoid making this mistake again.

The mission of the Law Commission is to engage Canadians in the
renewal of the law to ensure that it is relevant, responsive,
effective, equally accessible to all, and just. Its mandate is to
provide independent, non-partisan advice to the government to ensure
that our laws and legal system meets the changing needs of Canadian
society and its citizens. It also stands ready to advise the
government on specific questions referred to it by your office.

The social issues Canadians face in their communities are complex and
dynamic. The Law Commission facilitates an approach to law reform that
recognizes this complexity and is equal both to Canada’s diversity and
to its common commitments to justice, equality, fairness and

Since its inception, the Commission has addressed a range of difficult
questions. How can the law be used to restore the dignity of those who
have suffered institutional child abuse? How can law better support
close adult personal relationships? What should the relationship be
between public and private law enforcement? How can law support
participatory and restorative justice? How should age be used as a
category in law? Does contemporary labour law adequately address the
realities of working in the new economy? What can we learn from our
country’s indigenous legal traditions? Does Canada’s electoral system
produce just outcomes? What is the status of Canada’s laws beyond its
borders? When is criminal law the best means to control unwanted
social behaviors? When are other alternatives preferable?

These are complicated questions that go to the heart of justice in
this country. The Law Commission of Canada has been uniquely
positioned to address them. Parliament and the Ministry of Justice
develop policy and make laws. The Law Commission does neither.
Instead, it gathers the best expertise and sponsors comprehensive
research on the toughest questions. Most importantly, it engages
everyday Canadians directly in deliberating upon how law and the legal
system can best serve their communities.

Through its citizens’ advisory council, and through innumerable
forums, roundtables and consultations held across the country on a
regular basis, the Commission engages diverse Canadians from all walks
of life in debate and discussion about their laws and legal system. In
this way, it fulfils its mission to ensure that law is relevant to
Canadians, by actively ensuring that Canadians always remain relevant
to the law, and to those who make and enforce it.

The quality of debate and proposals that emerges from this process is
nothing short of outstanding. In the nine years of its existence, the
Law Commission of Canada has become a model of best practices to law
reform bodies operating in over sixty countries throughout the world.
Should you close it down, Canada will go from being a country that
boasts one of the world’s finest such bodies to one that does not have
a law reform commission at all. Sadly, Canada’s international
reputation is only the least of that which will suffer should the
closure of the Law Commission proceed. Once again, we urge you to


June Callwood, Companion of the Order of Canada

Dr. Darin Barney, Canada Research Chair in Technology & Citizenship,
McGill University

Save the maps!

As of January 2007, Natural Resources Canada will discontinue the
printing of paper topographic maps and will close the Canada Map Office.
Our government wants to get out of the business of producing maps.

Many Canadians place a priority on the paper map service the Government
currently provides. Natural Resources Canada's digital mapping policy
will effectively cut off access to the majority of Canadians. However,
our politicians see this issue as a minor one. ACMLA, which represents
both the public and research communities, would like to convince them
otherwise. This policy will have an enormous impact on the Canadian
public and our map users. The Minister of Natural Resources has a
responsibility to listen to our point of view. This is not a minor
policy amendment but a major change that has implications not just for
map librarians but for the ordinary Canadian who is looking for a map
for their cottage or who wants to go snowmobiling or hiking. Canada can
be a vast and unforgiving country without a map in hand.

How you can help:

This is a political issue and we must get the message out to as many
Canadians and organizations as soon as possible. An independent website
has been set up to lobby and inform Canadians. ACMLA asks its members to
support this initiative by sending emails to inform associations,
university departments, schools, individuals, etc. of the Government of
Canada's decision to abandon printing paper topographic maps. Let your
M.P. and your Minister of Natural Resources know what their constituents
think of this decision.

Support Access to Maps for Canadians