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The American Library Association’s Declaration for the Right to Libraries

WHEREAS:

            A democratic society requires an informed electorate to ensure full citizen participation in public dialogue; and

WHEREAS:

            Libraries are facilitators of literacy and education, and advocates of equal opportunity for all; and

WHEREAS:

            Libraries empower individuals, support lifelong learning and help build strong families and communities; and

WHEREAS:

            Libraries are an economic powerhouse in their communities, providing resources to small business owners, job seekers, and individuals learning new skills; and 

WHEREAS:

            Libraries are part of our society’s safety net, providing computers and internet access to families that apply for government assistance, such as unemployment benefits, food stamps, or other social services online; and

WHEREAS:

            Library workers are on the front lines defending our most basic freedoms as outlined in the First Amendment; and

WHEREAS:

            Libraries should be fully supported by the city, county, state and federal government body entrusted to maintain the integrity of the Library’s mission; and

WHEREAS:

            The American Library Association (ALA) has issued a declaration that states: In the spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that libraries are essential to a democratic society. Every day, in countless communities across our nation and the world, millions of children, students and adults use libraries to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to a vast array of books, computers and other resources, library users benefit from the expert teaching and guidance of librarians and library staff to help expand their minds and open new worlds. We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries --public, school, academic, and special – and urge you to show your support by signing your name to this Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME International adds its support to the Declaration for the Right to Libraries and in doing so, gives special recognition to the important role that ALL library workers provide to make critical library services available to all; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME International will add the ALA “We’ve signed the declaration” badge to our Library Workers webpage to help publicize the Right to Libraries campaign; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME International will publish a blog post supporting the Right to Libraries campaign and encourage others to do the same.

SUBMITTED BY:
Anne Cisney, President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 2083, Council 2
Washington

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