Education Governance Health Transparency

DataLibre: Health Canada library holdings latest to be repurposed as kindling


Health Canada library changes leave scientists scrambling
Main Health Canada research library closed, access outsourced to retrieval company
Laura Payton and Max Paris, CBC News January 20, 2014

Fresh on the heels of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) library bonfire comes news that the Health Canada library holdings are scheduled to be repurposed as kindling (or cat litter, or pretty much anything, so long as it doesn’t involve reading). While the DFO tried to defend its decision on the basis of an obviously flawed internal analysis, Health Canada hired an external consultant to provide a recommendation. If there were any lingering doubts as to whether these decisions are being ideologically-driven, the CBC did a good job addressing the question

The draft report from a consultant hired by the department warned it not to close its library, but the report was rejected as flawed and the advice went unheeded.

To highlight the emerging MO, just recently used in the DFO library closure decision

If you want to justify closing a library, you make access difficult and then you say it is hardly used.
– Dr. Rudi Mueller, retired Health Canada pathologist

And to emphasise his point

Scientifically, we are going to be a third-rate country.
– Dr. Rudi Mueller, retired Health Canada pathologist

It’s unclear whether the good doctor meant to imply Canada’s reputation for scientific research was already that of a ‘second-rate’ country, or whether he was implying Canada’s skipping steps down the ladder with such ill-conceived policies. It’s quite sad either way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *