Thursday, May 16, 2013

"The Human Right to a Public Library." in the Journal of Information Ethics


Mathiesen, Kay "The Human Right to a Public Library." Journal of Information Ethics 22, no. 1 (Spring 2013 2013): 60-79.


As a result of the global economic turndown, many local and national governments are disinvesting in public libraries. This paper proposes that governments have an obligation to create and fund public libraries, because access to them is a human right. Starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and appealing to recent work in Human Rights Theory, I argue that there is a right to information, which states are obligated to fulfill. Given that libraries are highly effective institutions for ensuring that this right is fulfilled, there is a derived human right to a public library.

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