ABCs of ‘behaviour regulation’ for federal librarians and archivists

Published 19/03/2013

Heritage Minister James Moore tells the Commons the government was not consulted on the code~ Photo Fred Chartrand/CP

Heritage Minister James Moore tells the Commons the government was not consulted on the code
~ Photo Fred Chartrand/CP

Staff at Library and Archives Canada are being schooled in “methods of behaviour regulation”as part of the agency’s new code of conduct, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.

Training sessions, which officials say are being given to all employees at the agency to ensure the controversial code “is known and understood by all,” start with a primer on values and ethics.

“Values help us establish standards, which allow us to choose our behaviour, make decisions, express our needs, and follow our personal path,” says a PowerPoint presentation on the two-hour training sessions.

It says morals and ethics are part of a continuum with “self-regulation” at one end and “heterogulation” at the other. Continue reading →

A “muzzle and snitch line” for Library and Archives Canada

Published 13/03/15 

Jim Turk, executive director of CAUT ~ photo by Pat McGrath

Jim Turk, executive director of CAUT ~ photo by Pat McGrath

Federal librarians and archivists who set foot in classrooms, attend conferences or speak up at public meetings on their own time are engaging in “high risk” activities, according to the new code of conduct at Library and Archives Canada.

Given the dangers, the code says the department’s staff must clear such “personal” activities with their managers in advance to ensure there are no conflicts or “other risks to LAC.”

The code, which stresses federal employees’ “duty of loyalty” to the “duly elected government,” also spells out how offenders can be reported.

“It includes both a muzzle and a snitch line,” says James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, which represents more than 68,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and academics across the country.

He and others say the code is evidence the Harper government is silencing and undermining its professional staff. Continue reading →

iWorm app for iPhone detect intestinal parasites

Schoolchildren in rural Tanzania involved with iphone-microscope testing ~ I Bogoch

School children in rural Tanzania involved with iPhone-microscope testing ~ I Bogoch

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March 11, 2013 _ It may not cut it with germophobes, but a Toronto doctor has come up with an intriguing new use for smart phones.

For less than $10 Dr. Isaac Bogoch turned his iPhone into a “field microscope” that can detect intestinal worms.

“It works like a charm,” says Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital, who describes the phone’s microscopic powers in a study published Monday in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

He and his colleagues, who used the phone to test for worms in children in rural Africa, say “mobile phone microscopes” could become  invaluable diagnostic tools in remote areas where labs are few and far between. Continue reading →

Giant camel remains discovered in Canadian Arctic

Artists' illustration of the cames that roamed  the High Arctic 3.5 million years ago. Credit ~ J. Csotonyi

Artists’ illustration of the cames that roamed the High Arctic 3.5 million years ago. Credit ~ J. Csotonyi

 03/05/2013

When Natalia Rybczynski unearthed the first few bone fragments on a windswept ridge in Canada’s High Arctic, she knew she was onto something big.

Rybczynski, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, recalls thinking: “This is something kind of off the charts.”

It turns out she had uncovered the remains of the first camel ever found in the High Arctic. Continue reading →