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Solidarity with OCADU Librarians

OCAD Librarians.jpg

          On May 4th, 2021 four senior academic librarians who work at OCAD University were laid off (as of June 1, 2021) because the Administration has decided to restructure the library.  

Together, the four people who lost their jobs in the middle of a pandemic have given more than seven decades of invaluable service to our University. They have contributed a great deal over many years to OCADU and provide us with an institutional history and a knowledge base that cannot be replaced. Library staff, faculty or students were not meaningfully consulted on this reorganization and neither was OPSEU Local 576, the union that represents the library workers.  



Actions you can take to support OCADU librarians:

1.     Sign this petition which calls for OCADU administration to: 


  • Cease all plans to restructure and reinstate the four academic librarians until there has been a thorough review of best practices and community needs  

  • Involve OCADU librarians, faculty and students in any major library reorganization  

  • Invest in OCADU's Library and resources

  • Demonstrate that OCADU supports and upholds the academic principles of collegial decision-making and mutual respect


2.     Attend the Senate meeting on Wednesday May 19 (3:15 pm - 6:15 pm) where the library reorganization will be discussed.  Tony White, University Librarian will make a presentation on the library reorganization.  You can request a zoom link to the senate meeting from Natalie Nanton, Secretary to Senate at

          On Monday May 10th, over 100 people, attended the Board of Governors (BOG ) meeting to protest the library reorganization. Unfortunately, Jaime Watts, the Chair of the Board of Governors disallowed any comments or discussions from non-board members, thereby silencing our community.  Many had come prepared to speak to this issue, but they were denied the opportunity to do so.  People quickly made signs in protest.  It is shameful that this University’s Board of Governors shut out the voices of faculty, students, alumni and community members.  

          The library cuts stem from the recommendations of an external third-party review. OCAD university has had multi-year deficits and needs to find ‘efficiencies’. There is another way to do this outside of the Enron model of ruthless corporate cuts.   When guided by principles of collegial governance, academic integrity and mutual respect, restructuring can maximize the strengths of a community, build harmonious relationships and creative teamwork.  But more importantly, instead of defunding libraries, we can advocate for adequate funding from our federal and provincial government to support Canada’s premiere art & design university. Chronic underfunding of post-secondary education is at the heart of this crisis.

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