Academic Freedom and Librarians’ Research and Scholarship in Canadian Universities

Mary Kandiuk, Harriet M. Sonne de Torrens

Abstract

This study examines the extent to which librarians employed at Canadian universities have academic freedom protection with respect to the right and responsibility to engage in research and scholarship as part of their normal workload and the right to pursue unrestricted lines of inquiry in research and scholarship. An analysis of the terms and conditions of employment for Canadian academic librarians and the results of a nationwide survey reveal that the majority are protected by academic freedom in their contractual agreements. The findings also reveal that the inclusion of research and scholarship as part of normal workload is a challenge for many librarians, definitions for research and scholarship vary across institutions, and time constraints impede the ability of librarians to conduct research and scholarship.

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