Information Update - Fall 2013
From the Library Dean
- Welcome to the fall 2013 semester. It is hard to believe the summer went by so quickly. My summer began with the annual meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) in Chicago. The ALA Council, the governing body of the association, passed three very significant resolutions during its summer meetings which I would like to share. The first resolution endorsed the Declaration for the Right to Libraries, a strong new public statement of the value of libraries for individuals, communities, and the nation. The America Library Association will work to engage libraries and communities across the country in the next year to hold signing ceremonies where community members, organizations, and officials can visibly sign and stand up for their right to have vibrant school, public, academic, and special libraries in their communities. ALA’s plan is for the signed scrolls to be presented at a national summit and ceremony to be held in the spring of 2014. At a time when many libraries in communities across the country are being closed or their staffs and budgets dramatically reduced, this Declaration becomes more important than ever.
- Secondly, the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members, reaffirmed and supported the principle that lifelong literacy is a basic right for all individuals in our society and is essential to the welfare of the nation. The ALA also reaffirmed the core value of basic literacy as foundational for people of all ages and as the building block for developing other literacies.
- Lastly and most significantly, the American Library Association strongly urged publishers to refrain from actions such as filing libel suits when in disagreement with librarians who have publicly shared their professional opinions and instead to rely upon the free exchange of views in the marketplace of ideas to defend their interests as publishers. Sharing and debating perspectives without fear of recrimination is the hallmark of a healthy democratic society peopled by engaged citizens.
- All in all, much work was done at the summer conference, and some very important issues were discussed and moved forward as priorities.
—Charles E. Kratz
Dean of the Library