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ARL and CARL Urge Dropping of Remaining Lawsuit against Askey

Dale Askey’s
Bibliobrary blog

ARL and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) commend Edwin Mellen Press’s decision to discontinue its lawsuit against McMaster University and academic librarian Dale Askey. Nevertheless, both associations urge Mr. Richardson, founder and editor of Edwin Mellen Press, to discontinue as well his personal lawsuit against Mr. Askey.

By continuing his personal suit against Mr. Askey, ARL and CARL believe that Mr. Richardson is contributing to the same chill on the freedom of expression of librarians as did Edwin Mellen Press when it lodged its suit against Mr. Askey and McMaster University. A librarian who has offered a negative assessment of the products and practices of a publisher should not be subject to intimidation and reprisal from either the publisher or that publisher’s founder.

“We are happy to see Edwin Mellen Press abandon its case against McMaster University and Dale Askey,” said Brent Roe, Executive Director of CARL. “We sincerely hope that Mr. Richardson will also drop his personal suit against Dale Askey, which does not appear to the community to be very different in nature from the suit that his company has finally dropped.”

“Edwin Mellen Press did the right thing in discontinuing its suit against Dale Askey and McMaster University,” said Elliott Shore, Executive Director of ARL. “Such a suit, if pursued, would have resulted in a tremendous waste of time and money for all concerned.”

ARL and CARL are committed to freedom of opinion and expression of ideas. Both associations, along with many other individuals and organizations, denounced the exaggerated reaction of the Edwin Mellen Press in suing Mr. Askey and McMaster University for remarks of Askey that the Association of Canadian University Presses called “well within the range of fair comment” and that the American Association of University Presses considered “measured and well within the scope of his professional expertise as a trained librarian.”

View a PDF of this ARL-CARL statement

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is the voice of Canada’s research libraries and enhances their capacity to advance research and higher education. It promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information. Its members include the 29 major university libraries across Canada. CARL is on the web at http://www.carl-abrc.ca/.

Together, ARL and CARL represent 136 research libraries in the United States and Canada.