|| International Responsibilities Task Force
of the American Library Association's
Social Responsibilities Round Table
Resolution on the Draft ALA International
- The following resolution was adopted by the elected representatives
of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) on July 8, 2000. SRRT
is a body within the American Library Association but does not and should
not be taken to speak for the Association as a whole. In this resolution
SRRT speaks only on its own behalf.
- Submitted by Al Kagan and Mark Rosenzweig
- Social Responsibilites
Round Table Newsletter, No. 135, June 2001, p. 10.
Whereas the ALA International Relations Committee has formulated an International
Relations Agenda and has asked for comments:
Resolved that the Social Responsibilities Round Table transmits the attached
[following] proposed amendments to the ALA International Relations Committee
for their consideration.
- Response to the Draft of the ALA International Relations
The Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association
commends the ALA International Relations Committee for its efforts to establish
an International Relations Agenda. Although SRRT agrees with the thrust
of the operational sections, we are proposing several changes and additions
to strengthen the language and address points omitted. We do however have
deeper concerns with the Guiding Principles which will be used to evaluate
issues not specifically addressed in the body of the document. Here we are
proposing significant changes that we think better describe the current
state of affairs and reflect long-standing ALA policy statements.
SRRT puts forward the following proposed amendments. Paragraphs not affected
are omitted. Deletions are [bracketed]. New text is in CAPITALS.
- Technology has nearly eliminated problems of distance and has significantly
reduced the impact of differences in time FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION
IN RICH COUNTRIES AND ELITES IN POOR COUNTRIES. HOWEVER, THERE IS A GROWING
GAP BETWEEN THE INFORMATION RICH AND THE INFORMATION POOR BOTH WITHIN AND
- [Information has become an international commodity.] LIBRARIANS HAVE
TRADITIONALLY VIEWED MOST INFORMATION AS A PUBLIC GOOD FOR THE BENEFIT
OF ALL. THE INCREASING COMMODIFICATION AND PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
RESOURCES IS AN INTERNATIONAL TREND WITH NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE
MAJORITY OF CITIZENS.
- [The role of the library in connecting individuals to information is
a value held throughout the world.] LIBRARIES PROVIDE FREE ACCESS TO INFORMATION
AND PROMOTE FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND EXPERSSION THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. ALA
SUPPORTS ARTICLE 19 OF THE U.N. DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE PROTECTIONS
IT SEEKS TO PROVIDE AGAINST REPRESSION OF THESE RIGHTS.
- The library's role in promoting the education of society, preserving
AND DEVELOPING its cultures, supporting EQUITABLE AND SUSTAINABLE economic
growth and advancement, and safeguarding AND DISSEMINATING the world's
information heritage is essential for the global, transborder, multicultural
society of the 21st century.
- 1) An Internationally Aware Organization.
- Through the ALA development and international relations offices, funding
for international activities will be sought from corporate, governmental,
FOUNDATION, NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION, INTERNATIONAL AGENCY, and private
sources, and through member contributions.
- The association will attempt to increase membership from abroad and
to realize a greater international presence at ALA conferences and meetings.
AS WE SUBSIDIZE ATTENDANCE FOR ALA MEMBERS AT INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIRS,
WE WILL ALSO SUBSIDIZE APPROPRIATE INTERNATIONAL ATTENDANCE AT ALA MEETINGS.
- 2) An Internationally Aware and Involved Membership.
- [New point] THE ALA INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OFFICE WILL SUPPORT THE
WORK OF THE VARIOUS COMMITTEES OF ALA DIVISIONS, ROUND TABLES AND OTHER
BODIES AND THE WORK OF THE ALA INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ASSEMBLY.
- [New point] THE ALA INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OFFICE WILL PROVIDE LIASON
SERVICES WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEES OF OTHER LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONS
IN THE UNITED STATES AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, AS WELL AS INDEPENDENT LIBRARY
ORGANIZATIONS WHICH MAY NOT BE AFFILIATED WITH OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED ASSOCIATIONS.
- 3) An Effective and Far Reaching International Program.
- Through its work in IFLA, with other library and educational organizations,
and through various independent entities, ALA will be an influential force
in areas of international importance such as copyright law, and
the development of standards, FREEDOM OF EXPERSSION, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND
OTHER GLOBALIZATION ISSUES INCLUDING THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION PROPOSALS
ON THE PRIVATIZATION OF SERVICES WHICH MAY DETERMINE THE GLOBAL CONTEXT
OF LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT.*
- *See 1991-92 CD#17.1, U.S. Objectives for IFLA and 1996-97 CD#18.4,
IFLA, Human Rights and Freedom of Expression.
Page last modified July 11, 2002.