According to CTV, librarians in Vancouver have been warned by city officials to use only approved Olympic sponsors in any Games-themed events they host next month, and to conceal the logos of any non-Olympic companies that may pass in front of patrons’ eyeballs.
The memo, written by marketing and communications manager Jean Kavanagh, tells staff to avoid such companies as Pepsi or Dairy Queen – neither of which is an official sponsor, unlike, say Coca-Cola or McDonald’s. And she suggests taking unusual steps to avoid displaying the logos of non-sponsors, writing: “If you have a speaker/guest who happens to work for Telus, ensure he/she is not wearing their Telus jacket, as Bell is the official sponsor.”
She also writes that any rented sound equipment have its brand name covered by cloth or tape – if it’s not a machine from sponsor Panasonic.
Though Kavanagh goes on to say that her list of Olympic dos and don’ts doesn’t constitute censorship, Alex Youngberg, president of the local library union, disagrees:
“There’s something in my library to offend everybody,” [Youngberg] said. “And that’s our job. Our job as library staff is to not ever censor any information.”