A LIVING FORCE FOR CULTURE:
Public Library Services in the United States as Reflective of Human Rights, Human Development and the Millennium Goals
Katharine J. Phenix and Kathleen de la Peña McCook
Public libraries in the United States have exhibited continual progress in the expansion of services since the establishment of this public good in the mid-nineteenth century. While the discourse about public library services among its practitioners has evolved along the lines of general progressive thought, this discourse has been framed in a fashion that reflects U.S. values. Even after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 U.S. public librarianship has largely refrained from describing services using a more universal language of human rights. The reasons for this have much to do with political decisions made outside of librarianship that nevertheless have affected the way U.S. librarians describe and activate services. Thus, while we assert that U. S. public libraries do provide services that embody human rights, we also recognize that the connections for front line public librarians in the U.S. to the larger global discourse have yet to be made in a clear manner.
This is especially true for the category of rights we call social and cultural that are named as solidarity rights by the organizers of this volume. Solidarity rights or third generation rights as a concept in international human rights development have been little deliberated in this language among U.S. librarians. While the field has the beginning of a strong foundation for establishing the importance of cultural works as discussed by Edwards and Edwards at the Ramallah Centre for Human Rights Studies’ 2008 International Conference on Libraries from a Human Rights Perspective, there is still a need to establish the specific instruments that can be used to provide a rationale for operationalization of these rights.
Librarians have had a longstanding commitment to the modes of service that could be characterized as solidarity rights as evidenced by the American Library Association’s establishment of the Office for Library Service to the Disadvantaged in 1970. The work of U.S. librarians has evolved in a mode that incorporates human rights values and precepts without having used the discourse that characterizes the philosophical and ethical precepts of human rights and human development. Samek has warned us of this (these?) lacunae in her ethical reflections on 21st century information work as background to the effort to establish a Special Interest Group on Ethics in the Association for Library and Information Science Education.
What we seek to do is this essay is to identify the instruments that provide the foundation for solidarity rights and then demonstrate the ways in which U.S. public librarians can begin to describe the work they have been doing in language that will enable them to claim their place among nations. We will present and review what we call the Rhombus model of Librarians and Human Rights.
[INSERT RHOMBUS HERE}
The model helps us visualize the rich body of work that has already been done on social, economic and cultural rights and its shape helps us visualize the support structure that upholds our work as librarians bound to support, acknowledge and inform these rights.. Our focus is on public librarians in the United States. We will discuss three areas that illuminate the social and cultural aspects of public library service as illuminated by integration of human rights concepts.
1) the work to support Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as the point of a philosophical commitment to human rights by librarians;
2) instruments that provide the foundation for librarians’ role in activating other articles in the UDHR
3) the eighteen public library service responses used by the Public Library Association as a point of activation in the United States informed by a human rights philosophy.
U.S. Librarians and Article 19
"Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
--Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
The resolution incorporating Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) within the official policy of the American Library Association in 1991 marks the beginning of understanding of librarians’ commitment to the principles of human rights in the language of human rights. However, it is important to note that librarians have worked through civil liberty and civil rights issues over many decades. Public librarians have many supporting materials in our repertory as we endeavor to promote the principles of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in practice. The American Library Association is on record as supporting 1st and 2nd generation human rights since the Library Bill of Rights was adopted on June 18th, 1948, six months before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was signed. Commitment to the right to expression had been codified in Section 53. Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association Policy Manual as 53.1 The Library Bill of Rights.
These sentiments are further supported by the ALA Policy Manual Section 58. International Relations. Policy objectives cited therein include encouragement of the exchange, dissemination, and access to information and the unrestricted flow of library materials in all formats throughout the world and the promotion and support of human rights and intellectual freedom worldwide.
The Association voted and approved the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 with the adoption of Policy 58.4 and 58.4.1:
58.4 Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.
58.4.1 Human Rights and Freedom of Expression
The ALA shall work with other associations and institutions that belong to IFLA to develop positions and programmatic plans of action in support of human rights and freedom of expression. The president or the member officially representing the Association at IFLA conferences shall be directed to support and carry them out; and, in the absence of such specific direction, the president or the member officially representing the Association at IFLA conferences is empowered to vote on new IFLA resolutions related to human rights and freedom. Their votes shall be guided by ALA’s adoption of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the good of the Association.
The Resolution on IFLA, Human Rights, and Freedom of Expression, was passed by ALA Council on July 2nd, 1997. It again highlights the UDHR Article 19 and ALA's endorsement of it. It states, quite simply: “Librarians worldwide made a commitment to promote and defend human rights in relation to information access in 1997 when the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) voted to establish the Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE)”.
The American Library Association has taken stands on Article 19 incorporating support in its policy manual. It is from the departure point of Article 19—we place this at the top of the Rhombus-- that the way opens to integrate review other human rights instruments that can be used to expand library services.
Middle of the Rhombus
U.S. librarians have addressed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) via Article 19 which seems to most to align with the values of library workers, but Article 19 is the first codification that leads to a far more expansive recognition of the connections of the UDHR to library services. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is actually a part of the International Bill of Human Rights , which also contains the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR,1966) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, 1966). These documents share the same roots, but after the UDHR was drafted, the other covenants were considered separately, addressing the two types of rights. As Amnesty International notes:
"On one side the achievement of economic, social and cultural rights (an adequate standard of living, education, health care, and income protection) was presented as requiring a political commitment to socialism. On the other, civil and political rights (the right to vote, free expression, legal representation) were portrayed as a luxury that could only be afforded once a certain level of economic development had been achieved."
A recent discussion in Human Rights Quarterly frames the complex myth regarding third generation and solidarity rights concepts toward which the West is often viewed as indifferent or hostile. The authors note: “Even many who insist on the interdependence and indivisibility of all human rights, and thus the fully equal status of economic and social rights, help to perpetuate the myth by accepting the three generations, three worlds story that has become the hegemonic narrative about "universal, indivisible, and interrelated" human rights in many international human rights circles.” We would like to suggest that librarians review the history of the adoption of economic and social rights to gain an understanding of the degree to which these values are integrated into the daily work of librarians.
Moving from the realm of human rights scholarship to a broad U.S. audience we see that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1967 and stated: "I think it is necessary to realize that we have moved from the era of Civil Rights to the era of human rights. When you deal with human rights you are not dealing with something clearly defined in the Constitution. They are rights that are clearly defined by the mandates of a humanitarian concern.". To understand King’s meaning we need to review the growing body of conventions and other instruments that were enacted in the post-World War II twentieth century to move the world to a realization of human rights in full.
Some of the major human rights instruments created through the United Nations (UN) and archived at the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) include:
• Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1951)
• The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1963)
• The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1979)
• The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1987)
• The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
• Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Their Families (1990)
Many of these rights are acknowledged and protected by laws in the United States, but others are not present in American legal jurisprudence, although economic, social and cultural rights are now recognized as enforceable in the courts (justiciable) under both national and international law. As noted most passionately in Something So Strong: A Resource Guide on Human Rights in the United States
"Human rights conceives of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as interdependent, transcending the current U.S. rights framework that often pits disadvantaged groups against one another. Applying a human rights framework puts the power of rights back into the hands of the people who possess those rights, whether or not they are recognized in domestic law."
The USA has stated that
"at best, economic, social and cultural rights are goals that can only be achieved progressively, not guarantees. Therefore, while access to food, health services and quality education are the top of any list of development goals, to speak of them as rights turns the citizens of developing countries into objects of development rather than subjects of in control of their own destiny"
Much international discussion that activates and realizes the philosophical aspects of human rights has been made part of the public sphere by various conferences and programs of UNESCO. Since the United States left UNESCO in 1983 and did not rejoin until 2004, the discussion of human rights and their interpretations in this country has been interrupted. United States citizens have not been kept informed of the inter-relatedness of the 2nd and 3rd generations of rights which have become more prominent since the late 1980s.
Another United Nations initiative which bears review since 1990 is the Human Development Approach intended to enlarge people’s choices and enhance human capabilities. This framing is of interest to librarians because it incorporates the idea that access to knowledge is fundamental to human development. The series of reports issued by the Human Development Programme beginning in 1990 provide a well-documented history of new models for human growth.
On 25 June 1993 after the end of the Cold-War, representatives of 171 States adopted by consensus the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action at the World Conference on Human Rights. Mr. Ibrahim Fall, the Secretary-General of the Conference stated that the Vienna Declaration provided the international community with a new "framework of planning, dialogue and cooperation" that will enable a holistic approach to promoting human rights and involve actors at all levels -- international, national and local. The Conference also included the examination of the link between development, democracy and economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. It took historic new steps to promote and protect the rights of women, children and indigenous peoples by creation of a new mechanism, a Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, calling for the universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the year 1995; and recommending the proclamation by the General Assembly of an international decade of the world’s indigenous peoples. The Vienna Declaration also made recommendations for strengthening the monitoring capacity of the United Nations system and called for the establishment of a High Commissioner for Human Rights by the General Assembly, which created the post on 20 December 1993.
In his essay, “The Declaration of Human Rights in Postmodernity,” Jose A. Alves explored the milestone status of the Vienna Declaration for the formalization of the UDHR. He observed that “the acceptance of multiculturalism in place of rational, universalistic humanism is, in fact, if not the "foundation," at least the keynote of all brands of postmodern thinking.”
The Vienna+5 Review (five years on) underscored the need to focus on development and democracy, “respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, transparent and accountable governance and administration in all sectors of society, as well as effective participation by civil society, are essential parts of the necessary foundations for the realization of social- and people-centered sustainable development.” (Art. 30). Of special interest is Section XI which “affirmed that education on human rights and the dissemination of proper information, both theoretical and practical, play an important role in the promotion and respect of human rights with regard to all individuals without distinction of any kind, such as race, sex, language or religion, and this should be integrated in the education policies at the national as well as international levels.” The Vienna+5 review includes among its conclusions: “In order to be fully respected and observed, human rights must be understood, promoted and implemented by the international community also from the perspectives of development, peace and security.”
The publication of Human Rights and Human Development by the Human Rights Development Programme in 2000 marked a possible convergence of the two approaches—human rights and development:
“Human rights and human development share a common vision and a common purpose—to secure, for every human being, freedom, well-being and dignity. Divided by the cold war, the rights agenda and development agenda followed parallel tracks. Now converging, their distinct strategies and traditions can bring new strength to the struggle for human freedom. The Human Development Report 2000 looks at human rights as an intrinsic part of development—and at development as a means to realizing human rights. It shows how human rights bring principles of accountability and social justice to the process of human development.
In 2000 a Millennium Summit was held to discuss the role of the United Nations in the new millennium. The United Nations Millennium Declaration that resulted included reaffirmation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and establishment of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) goals for 2015.
1. eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. achieve universal primary education
3. promote gender equality and empower women
4. reduce child mortality
5. improve maternal health
6. combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. ensure environmental sustainability
8. develop a global partnership for development.
In 2000 the international community faced multiple approaches to conceptualizing and activating human rights including development and the millennium goals. The similar complex statements are somewhat overwhelming and difficult to sort. Unfortunately there is a tendency not to deal at all. In his analysis of the current state of the human rights and development debate seen through the lens of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Alston attempts to connect these approaches. After a lengthy analysis of the approaches he suggests that duty-bearers and policy analysts
use human rights terminology wherever it is clearly applicable. The easiest examples would be to include references to the right to education, the right to adequate food, and the right to health, in the sections dealing with those issues as MDGs. Once again the precise implications of this terminology need not be spelled out in the document. In most cases it will be through a dialogue within the community and particularly between civil society and the government to identify the specific implications in a given location.
Alston calls on actors from the sectors to demonstrate more commonality of concern, language and implementation.
The Millennium Project was commissioned by the United Nations Secretary-General in 2002 to recommend a concrete action plan for the world to reverse the grinding poverty, hunger and disease affecting billions of people. Headed by Jeffrey Sachs, the Project was an independent advisory body and presented its final report in January 2005. The Millennium Goal report issued 2008 did not mention human rights..
Setting aside the Millennium Development Goals for a moment we can see that most of the instruments developed since the UDHR in 1948 clearly connect the interdependency of all these rights. UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted November 2001 stated "Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights, which are universal, indivisible, and independent". Much of the literature connects them … for example
"the [right] to identity entails minority rights (ICCPR 27), freedom in arts and sciences (ICESR 15) and freedoms of thought, religion and opinion (ICCPR 18, 19)
Using this connectivity argument, Weeramantry concluded that "if there is in reality human rights at any level it must necessarily follow that access to the information appropriate to the exercise of that right becomes a right in itself . And as the UNESCO declaration continues in Article 6
While ensuring the free flow of ideas by word and image care should be exercised that all cultures can express themselves and make themselves known. Freedom of expression, media pluralism, multilingualism, equal access to art and to scientific and technological knowledge, including in digital form, and the possibility for all cultures to have access to the means of expression and dissemination are the guarantees of cultural diversity.
The UNESCO “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” was adopted in 2005. It celebrated the importance of cultural diversity for the full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other universally recognized instruments. A guiding principle is that cultural diversity can be protected and promoted only if human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, information and communication, as well as the ability of individuals to choose cultural expressions, are guaranteed.
The latest edition of Human Rights: Major International Instruments presents data on States’ ratifications, accessions and successions to human rights instruments both universal and regional. The majority of the rights proclaimed in the UDHR have been codified and progressively developed. However some rights, like the right to take part in cultural life and the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, are still awaiting further elucidation of their content and corresponding obligations of States.
Cultural Rights in Libraries
This Manifesto proclaims UNESCO's belief in the public library as a living force for education, culture and information, and as an essential agent for the fostering of peace and spiritual welfare through the minds of men and women.
--- UNESCO/ IFLA Public Library Manifesto
The connection between people in the United States and their public libraries carries the legacy of the human rights instruments we have examined. To deepen front line U.S. librarian engagement with world issues and to move beyond Article 19 we have in this section decided to examine various aspects of cultural rights making use of some of the statements and policies that inform U.S. public library services. The Rhombus model we have used to depict this process culminates in specific services to people in groups or categories designated as requiring special services such as those with disabilities, poor people, or people marginalized and excluded. We use Stephen Hansen’s essay, “The Right to Take Part in Cultural Life” as point of departure to examine the implications of these rights in the context of the U.S. public library in 2009. He approaches "culture" from several standpoints and his description of rights relating to culture are those concerning creativity, including the visual arts, literature, music, dance, and theater. In Western society, the cultural rights inferred here are those relating to the commercial access to these achievements. Individuals are free to participate, subject, of course, to economic constraints. A second approach is his rights to a culture, which focus on the conservation and preservation of culture, as well as the right to have access and participate in it. It is within this context that UNESCO's “Recommendation on the Participation by the People at Large In Cultural Life and their Contribution to It” states that culture means "opportunities available to everyone, in particular, through the creation of the appropriate socio-economic conditions, for freely obtaining information, training, knowledge and understanding, and for enjoying cultural values and cultural property. Sounds like a public library to us. See for example, Connecting the Dots: Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg Project, [transformed the street into a massive art environment] program at the Southfield Public Library
The history of the public library is nothing if not a struggle to find our place as a service organization to a diverse public. This is not a picture of an institution imposing its views and values on an unsuspecting population.
Libraries and Cultural Rights
What is the stance of the policy makers and governing bodies of libraries today in relation to cultural rights? Certainly the work done to ensure access to a culture, by ensuring the civil rights of groups, are visible in the historical work to pressure libraries to integrate since 1956 when ALA held its first integrated conference in Miami or later in 1961 when the Library Bill of Rights was amended to support “the rights of an individual to the use of a library should not be denied or abridged because of his race, religion, national origins, or political views.” African American collections held at public libraries and cultural organizations dedicated to preserving Black history.
The American Library Association Policy Manual discussed briefly in section relating to article 19 of the UDHR is a useful source of collected deliberations as duly discussed and voted upon that provide detail about library policy in the United States regarding proactive policies and reactive rights of library users. In Section 52 Services and Responsibilities of Libraries library access is directly mentioned in 52.2.1 Preservation and in 52.4.3 Immigrants' Rights of Free Public Library Access.
• American public libraries have a long history of service to the foreign-born. .. Materials in languages other than English, bilingual and bicultural staff members, literacy instruction, and English-as-a-second-language courses are some of the more common strategies. In addition, libraries can partner with federal Americanization agencies. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has had vendor booths at American library Association Annual Conferences to promote naturalization and citizenship materials for public libraries. Federal outreach to immigrants through public libraries dates back at least to the World War I era.
In Section 53. Intellectual Freedom, the Library Bill of Rights is followed by "interpretations" which are stated in Articles 53.1.1 to 53.1.19. Several specifically mention groups, including free access to minors (53.1.4), children and young adults to nonprint materials (53.1.13), all persons regardless of sex, gender identity or sexual orientation (53.1.15). Additionally, Section 54.3.2 provides for Library Services for People with Disabilities. This policy is monitored by the Association’s Accessibility Assembly which works to advance coordination and cooperation of efforts within ALA and the profession to meet the challenges of providing access to all.
• Revised Standards of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; Guidelines for Library and Information Services for the American Deaf Community; Guidelines for Library Services for People with Mental Illnesses.
Section 60 Diversity is specifically directed to promoting library services to groups (rights relating to culture) and responsiveness to cultural imperatives (rights to a culture). It states
The American Library Association (ALA) promotes equal access to information for all persons and recognizes the ongoing need to increase awareness of and responsiveness to the diversity of the communities we serve. ALA recognizes the critical need for access to library and information resources, services, and technologies by all people, especially those who may experience language or literacy-related barriers; economic distress; cultural or social isolation; physical or attitudinal barriers; racism; discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression; or barriers to equal education, employment, and housing.
Libraries can and should play a crucial role in empowering diverse populations for full participation in a democratic society. In order to accomplish this, however, libraries must utilize multivariate resources and strategies. In the library workforce, concrete programs of recruitment, training, development, advancement and promotion are needed in order to increase and retain diverse library personnel who are reflective of the society we serve. Within the American Library Association and in the services and operations of libraries, efforts to include diversity in programs, activities, services, professional literature, products and continuing education must be ongoing and encouraged.
We see from these policies that public libraries have been looking out for the social, economic and cultural rights of its community. This is hard wired into the way we think about our service. This point is nicely and obliquely made by Thomas Clay Templeton as he thinks about the library as "place" either physically or virtually. He writes
Place reminds us to tailor our professional work to the shifting concerns,
and indeed the shifting criteria, of our shifting constituencies, rather than
to a placeless professional vision of what librarianship, society, and literacy should be. The places of libraries in the lives of people are places we evolve together; otherwise the library is a site of domination or a hopeless utopian dream, literally “no place.”
In our view, trying to apply the concept of 3rd generation human rights to the mission of the public library in the United States is to impose some sort of oppositional model between the "institution" and the "groups" those whose group rights we attempt to promote. In fact, there is no opposition, instead a sincere and fundamental premise, raison d^etre , movement to identify and include all inhabitants of a service community as demonstrated by the polices we have described above that relate to intellectual freedom, accessibility and diversity.
“The increasing wave of privatization, commercialization, global market fundamentalism and how they impact copyright practices on the part of corporate information forces and international bodies make necessary to bring on elements of human rights to the discussion in order to protect, preserve, and guarantee the survival of cultural heritage for those that genuinely own it.”
Chaparro-Univazo, Segio. “Where Social Justice Meets Librarianship,” Information for Social Change (Summer 2007). Retrieved June 21, 2009. http://libr.org/isc/toc.html
Public Library Services Responses.
Another telling proof that libraries are already facing up to their responsibility to provide services not just to individuals but to the demands of a culturally or economically distinct group of people is the terminology associated with planning and the future of 21st century public libraries. The practice of public librarianship in the twenty-first century United States as conceived by those involved in the development of the Public Library Association “New Planning for Results” model is about managing change. The 2008 guide, Strategic Planning for Results, identified eighteen service responses that were selected by public librarians through several years of meetings and interactive discussion. These eighteen service responses will guide the practice of public librarianship in the United States for the next decade.
Looking through the lens of human rights agency, and call to focus on human rights librarianship in respect to groups, each of these service responses can be seen to advance ideals of human rights but as such they are not using the languages of human rights nor are they connected –as presented --to the Millennium goals, or even to the IFLA/ UNESCO Public Library Manifesto which states that "the public library, the local gateway to knowledge, provides a basic condition for lifelong learning, independent decision making and cultural development of the individual and social groups.”
To demonstrate the parallel value agreement among the public library service responses , selected international human rights instruments, and library principles and policies we have created a Grid that displays the foundational and policy connections that result in direct service to people in public libraries.
We use the 18 service responses presented in Strategic Planning for Results to provide examples of current U.S. public library practice that demonstrate cultural rights. Our aim is to demonstrate on-the- ground manifestations of each of the service responses as documented in the public discourse of 21st century librarianship. By reviewing examples below and cross-referencing them to the Grid we demonstrate a common language to link U.S. public librarianship as part of the global human rights framework.
1) “Be an Informed Citizen: Local, National and World Affairs;”
• Libraries as Polling/ Voting places.
• Libraries Foster Civic Engagement Membership Initiative Group of the American Library Association.
• Tax Forms Outlet Program (footnote)
2) “Build Successful Enterprises: Business and Nonprofit Support;”
• Economic gardening.
• Business reference in public libraries.
• Supporting non-profits.
3) Celebrate Diversity; Cultural Awareness
“LIS Professionals in a Global Society.” Barbara J. Ford, distinguished professor, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, advocates that libraries reach out to community groups reflecting other cultures and countries and celebrate that diversity with speakers, exhibits films and special performances.
4) “Connect to the Online World: Public Internet Access;”
Public Agenda's Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Public and Leadership Attitudes About Libraries in the 21st Century. "Two thirds of survey respondents say that having enough computers and online services for people should be a high priority for their local library. More than 6 in 10 favor wiring libraries so that those who may not be able to afford computers in their home can learn computer skills and get online. And those who think that libraries are just becoming the information sources of last resort for those who can't afford a home computer seem to be mistaken. Advanced computer users and families with higher incomes are even more likely to use public libraries and the technology services they offer.
5) ”Create Young Readers: Early Literacy;”
Loriene Roy, ALA president in 2008 held a “Circle of Literacy,” an international celebration of indigenous children's reading and culture supporting reading and cultural expression to a sharable website that included activities for the children and several indigenous writers.
6) “Discover Your Roots: Genealogy and Local History; “
Photographs collected by the Eagle County Historical Society in Colorado were preserved by librarians for the local history collection in the Eagle Valley Library District. This local initiative is a manifestation what Lloyd has characterized as guarding against amnesia: “A nation's collective consciousness relies on the traces of memory collected by institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums. Such institutions have a responsibility to preserve documents and objects that reflect individual and collective endeavors and that have had an impact on culture and society at national, regional, and local levels. Institutions need to assess documents and objects against criteria that, in effect, "name" these items as significant.”
7) “Express Creativity: Create and Share Content”
Poetry aloud here!: sharing poetry with children in the library.
Favreau, Karen. “A Library and an Art Center” American Libraries 38 ( F 2007): 38-40.
8)” Get Facts Fast: Ready Reference;”
Kern, M. K. “Virtual Reference Best Practices.”
Kwon, N. “Public Library Patrons’ Use of Collaborative Chat Reference Service.”
9) “Know Your Community: Community Resources and Services;“
Barker, Anne et. al. “Committed to the Community: A Community Services” Texas Library Journal 84 Summer 2008): 58-9.
we created a website linked to our library's website: npl.sfasu.edu/communityservices. The purpose of the website was to provide a fast link to emergency help of all sorts. First consideration was given to the needs of the hurricane evacuees for food, shelter, clothing, jobs, and medical assistance. This vision expanded to include all sorts pf nonprofits and people other than evacuees who needed assistance. We wanted people to be able to find help fast at a one-stop website that was accessible easily.
Drueke, J. “Researching Local Organizations: Simple Strategies for Building Social Capital,” Reference and User Services Quarterly 45 (summer 2006): 327-33.
McCook, Kathleen de la Peña “Service integration and libraries: will 2-1-1 be the catalyst for renewal?” Reference and User Services Quarterly 40 (winter 2000): 127-130.
10) “Learn to Read and Write: Adults, Teens and Family Literature; “
The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) serves the Association by identifying and promoting library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in our libraries. OLOS focuses attention on services that are inclusive of traditionally underserved populations, including new and non-readers, people geographically isolated, people with disabilities, rural and urban poor people, and people generally discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class. The Office ensures that training, information resources, and technical assistance are available to help libraries and librarians develop effective strategies to develop programs and services for library users.
Alexander, O. D. “The Danville Public Library Spreads Literacy, Reading and Opportunity to Ex-Offenders.” Virginia Libraries v. 54 no. 3/4 (2008): 25-6.
Petruzzi, T., et. al.,”A Literacy Center Where? A Public Library Finds Space to Promote and Provide Family Learning Activities.” Public Library Quarterly 25 1/2 (2006) p. 191-7.
11) “Make Career Choices: Job and Career Development.”
Los Angeles Public Library’s Job Hunting Guide. l
Forsyth County Public Library.
ALA-APA. Union Committee.
12) “Make Informed Decisions: Health, Wealth and Other Life Choices; “
Ren, R., et. al., “Partnerships for a Health Community: Laredo Public Library’s Children’s Health Fair and Outreach Program.” Public Libraries 48 (January/February 2009):. 59-61.
Smart investing@your library. http://smartinvesting.ala.org/pr2009.cfm
13) “Satisfy Curiosity: Lifelong Learning; “
Through grants, the ALA Public Programs Office offers the essential resources, funding, visibility and framework needed for libraries to conduct high-quality cultural programs during the project term and beyond. Public Programs Office initiatives bring audiences together to experience diverse and excellent humanities programming across all types of libraries in the United States.
14) “Stimulate Imagination: Reading, Viewing and Listening for Pleasure”
One Book" projects (community-wide reading programs), initiated by the Washington Center for the Book in 1998, are being introduced across the U.S.A. and around the world .
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.
Journals and Periodicals. Perspectives on Serials in the Hybrid Environment
Downloading. Can’t decide here but KP expert to choose one source. E-Books in Libraries
Research-Based Readers' Advisory. Ed. by Jessica E. Moyer. Chicago: ALA, 2008.
Listening. Guide to Developing a Library Music Collection
15) “Succeed in School: Homework Help;”
Costello, J., et. al., Promoting public library partnerships with youth agencies. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries v. 15 no. 1 (Fall 2001) p. 8-15.
Multnomah County Library Homework Center
16) “Understand How to Find, Evaluate, and Use Information: Information Fluency; “
National Forum on Information Literacy
Collen, L. “Teaching Information Literacy in the Public Library.” Knowledge Quest 37 (September/October 2008) p. 12-16.
17) “Visit a Comfortable Place: Physical and Virtual Spaces;”
Buschman, John E. and Gloria J. Leckie. 2007. The library as place: History, community, and culture.
Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2008-2009.
18)”Welcome to the United States: Services for New Immigrants.”
Serving Non-English Speakers in U.S. Public Libraries, based on the 2007 analysis of library demographics, services and programs.
Burke, S. K. “Public Library Resources Used by Immigrant Households.”. Public Libraries 47 (July/August 2008) p. 32-41.
This review of the public library service responses has provided current examples of libraries serving the cause of culture in the context of the principles of human rights as displayed on the Grid.
The Economic Value of Libraries
Public libraries also create value, which in turn, advances the economic status of communities and neighborhoods. This can be seen in several ways. The first is as Return on Investment (ROI) and there are plenty of studies about that I haven't paid attention to. The second is something I learned about from Mary Dempsey, when she spoke at CAL. Branches of the CPL go into blighted neighborhoods as beautiful buildings and change the whole atmosphere and economic possibilities. Chicago Public Library. "Building a library in a neighborhood can transform the neighborhood. In neighborhood after neighborhood, Chicago's new libraries have demonstrated their power to transform. Not only does library use soar, the neighborhoods themselves are revitalized. Aldermen now vie to have new or renovated libraries in their neighborhoods--and community residents sing their praises". Further, Mayor Daley says "What you see is many times businesses will do something in and around the library. [For example,] they will open a coffee shop. People [realize] the city invested X amount of money, whether it's 8 or 10 or 12 million dollars. That's a big investment. Then retail thinks, "The city is investing here. We should start investing here."
The Chicago example is actualization of the American Library Association’s Poor People’s Policy which states “it is crucial that libraries recognize their role in enabling poor people to participate fully in a democratic society, by utilizing a wide variety of available resources and strategies.” Once known as the people's university, the public library has also performed the role of the peoples' office, and now the people's IT center. As reported in Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Libraries in the 21st Century the "opportunities to do more": are to provide:
• a safe and engaging place for teens
• literacy skills for a strong workforce
• center for community information
• greater access to technology
And the voices of working public librarians attest to these daily actions. The PUBLIB electronic discussion group buzzes with pragmatic messages and queries:
• "do you provide your patrons with a) a fax machine, b) a scanner, c) USB/Memory stick/Flash drives.?
• ”We are also asking each other "how do you serve your unemployed"
• The new new pathfinder is "Step by Step on MS-Office Resume Wizard"
• "How to Set Up A Free eMail Account in (Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, GMail) .
Next to the bus route schedules we display the Denver Post Classifieds Job Kiosk.
A librarian lurks on a perch, or, at a rare moment, sits at a public service desk. Two adults meet around a corner. "Hi!" Person A exclaims. "I just got laid off today, too".
In his study of the early years of the U.S. public library Dizion observed: "Librarians of the nineteenth century were constantly and, one might say, painfully being reminded of the latest needs of their working class public. They were faced with a curious contradiction: In periods of economic stress when appropriations were pruned down, enforced idleness resulted in an increased pressure on their resources”….The library management at Lawrence, Massachusetts was so sensitive to the ebb and flow of local business activities that one gets a fair picture of fluctuating economic fortunes of the city by reading the library reports. In 1874 we are told that the registration figures were not likely to increase because of the transient nature of the populations in manufacturing cities, but the closing of the mills, or some similar cause, might result in a considerable increase in circulation. The library in Brookline, Massachusetts was proud to provide a rendezvous for the unemployed…called "a safe asylum for hands and brains that might, through forced idleness and discouragement, be led to harm". Compare with "Libraries See More Use, Less Funding" about the Troy Public Library and or "Library use increases dramatically as economy sags, funding declines.
"We already know that through their power to educate and to inspire, libraries level the playing field for underserved communities. It is the library that opens the door to life-changing books and provides access to the world beyond our communities. Perhaps most importantly, libraries exist as centers of culture, community and learning," he wrote in a December 2008 piece for The Huffington Post. "As the nation continues to experience a sharp and jarring economic downturn, local libraries are providing valuable free tools and resources to help Americans of all ages through this time of uncertainty."
The data backs him up. A September 2008 Harris Poll found that around 75 percent of Americans have a library card and have visited their local public library in the past year, an increase from 65 percent about two years ago. The same poll showed that 92 percent Americans "view their local library as an important education resource," and about 70 percent cited their local library as either "a pillar of the community," a "community center," a "family destination," or a "cultural center." Also, "Libraries Stand Ready to Help in Tough Economic Times"
We have shown the connection between human rights instruments and the configuration of current thinking about US public library service. We will conclude our discussion highlighting some aspects that will help us to internalize this way of thinking. Fifteen years ago, close in time to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, as adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, the UNESCO/IFLA Public Library Manifesto was issued. which states:
Freedom, prosperity and the development of society and of individuals are fundamental human values. They will only be attained through the ability of well-informed citizens to exercise their democratic rights and to play an active role in society. Constructive participation and the development of democracy depend on satisfactory education as well as on free and unlimited access to knowledge, thought, culture and information.
The public library, the local gateway to knowledge, provides a basic condition for lifelong learning, independent decision-making and cultural development of the individual and social groups.
This Manifesto proclaims UNESCO's belief in the public library as a living force for education, culture and information, and as an essential agent for the fostering of peace and spiritual welfare through the minds of men and women.
UNESCO therefore encourages national and local governments to support and actively engage in the development of public libraries.
Human Development Report 2004
Cultural Liberty in Today’s Diverse World
Accommodating people’s growing demands for their inclusion in society, for respect of their ethnicity, religion, and language, takes more than democracy and equitable growth. Also needed are multicultural policies that recognize differences, champion diversity and promote cultural freedoms, so that all people can choose to speak their language, practice their religion, and participate in shaping their culture—so that all people can choose to be who they are.
The principles of the Public Library Manifesto were placed in a public library context through the Millennium Development Goals by Ellen Forsythe a decade later when she wrote that library staff have expertise to contribute to the global initiative of the Millennium Development Goals, in partnership with other groups of workers and thinkers. She noted that libraries are integral to community development and provide access to information and works of imagination in a variety of formats and languages contributing to social inclusion.
The 2005 Tunis Commitment of the World Summit on the Information Society incorporated the commitment to development and human rights to make the Millennium Development Goals a reality, affirmed the Alexandria Manifesto, and upheld the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Most pertinent to this discussion was affirmation of commitment to:
“supporting educational, scientifi c, and cultural institutions, including libraries, archives and museums, in their role of developing, providing equitable, open and affordable access to, and preserving diverse and varied content, including in digital form, to support informal and formal education, research and innovation; and in particular supporting libraries in their public service role of providing free and equitable access to information and of improving ICT literacy and community connectivity, particularly in underserved communities.”
Adama Samassékou has underscored that the development of the information society must be based on the framework of human rights.
Public librarians in the twenty-first century will be organizing their work from a viewpoint that a world view with a human rights perspective will move librarians to work passionately on behalf of human capabilities.
In the IFLA Multicultural Library Manifesto it is stated that libraries of all types
should reflect, support and promote cultural and linguistic diversity at the international,
national, and local levels, and thus work for cross-cultural dialogue and active citizenship. The American Library Association has an active commitment to these ideals and demonstrated by work on a statement on “Librarianship and Traditional Cultural Expression.” Which will highlight the ways librarians can better manage cultural expression in their own collections and share expertise with cultures that choose to self manage their own culture.
Educating for human rights and global citizenship became an ongoing international project with the establishment of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (WPHRE) in 2005. Samek has addressed issues of the education of librarians and focused on librarians’ need to address and resurrect a flattened cultural record. She asks: “To what extent can improved practices redress the failed promotion of cultural distinctiveness, cultural literacy, cultural democracy, and democratic education?” The connection of service-leaning for librarian education in a human rights context has been addressed by McCook.
The 2009 report, Libraries are a Vital Community Resource in the Information Age based on an analysis of 9,000 state program reports does not use the language of human rights. The extensive report describes how the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants have been used and focus on development strategies for human capital, library services expansion and access, and information infrastructure strategies.
What is missing is the ethos as Sergio Chaparro-Univazo says: "human rights are then an arena in which the traditional forces and values of librarianship can establish connections, dialogue, and advocacy in the 21st century.”