ALA President Responds to Publisher Lawsuit against Librarian
A multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed in June 2012 by Edwin Mellen Press against McMaster University’s Associate Librarian Dale Askey came to light in mid-February. The suit alleges that Askey committed libel while criticizing Edwin Mellen Press on a personal blog while he was a librarian at Kansas State University in Manhattan. Edwin Mellen Press is seeking a total of $4.5 million in damages to compensate for injury to their reputation.
Today, ALA President Maureen Sullivan released the following statement regarding the lawsuit:
“As president of the American Library Association, I share the deep concern expressed by the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Canadian Library Association, among many others, in deploring the actions of the Edwin Mellen Press in filing a libel suit against Dale Askey, currently a librarian at McMaster University, for expressions of his professional opinion
in a blog hosted first byon his personal blog not associated with either Kansas State University or McMaster University. [Updated Feb. 22, 2013]
“This action strikes at a core responsibility of all librarians as information professionals to provide considered, critical advice to the reading public regardless of the type of library in which they are employed.
“In addition, it has the potential to significantly poison the good relationships enjoyed by the library and publishing communities. I call upon the Press to reconsider its actions and drop this assault on intellectual and academic freedom.”