Advocacy from the ALA!


At CMLE Headquarters, we want to help members with access to resources and ideas from across the profession and our professional organizations. This press release, copied below, is timely in discussing an issue that is being widely pondered by librarians, teachers, parents, and everyone else: how libraries can respond with information assistance after the election. Any election and post-election season is filled with excitement, changes, and a rapid flow of all kinds of information, and this one has had all of that.

Libraries are here to help people sort through that information, to figure out what is real and meaningful, and to understand how information can apply to patrons and to their communities.

The world will constantly change around us; so to guide our work, we live by a code of ethics that guides us in sharing information:

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  3. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

From the ALA:

A Message from Our President

“After a contentious campaign season filled with divisive rhetoric, we are now hearing from our members and in the news media about incidents of bigotry and harassment within our communities. During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues.  Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds and promote inclusion and diversity.  ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to our mission. As an association representing these libraries, librarians and library workers, We will continue to support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work.””  Julie Todaro, ALA President 2016 – 2017 (read the full statement)

Read through the rest of the page set up to help library people to help their communities, for some advice on how you can best work with your community. Libraries provide a special place in a community, and as a source of information we stand alone in the work we do for our community members. Let’s work together to be sure we do the best job we can for them!