Rory includes the full text of the Iraq resolution that passed through ALA Council this past session. He’s also included the Resolution on Disinformation & Media Manipulation and the Destruction of Public Information and the Resolution on Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation. Remember, ALA isn’t a legislative body and so these resolutions are, at best, statements of good intentions, position papers if you will. If any of these resolutions [and I’ll be trying to find the text of the rest of them this week] are applicable to your library situation, feel free to print them out and tell whoever needs to know “The largest library association in the world thinks this is important” James Casey who serves with me on Council and always distributed his post-Council reports widely, had this to say about the importance of wide-ranging resolutions.
Discussions were intense and substantive (most of the time), but there was a surprising tendency in this session for the Councilors not to worry about straying from “Library Issues”. In fact, I don’t recall hearing that term : “This is not a Library issue.” even once from the floor of Council during the whole of this Conference. There was a clearer connection in the minds of Councilors — at least in my own mind — how the manipulation, destruction and spinning of information can result in wars, ecological disasters and other calamities that were previously thought best to be left to the “experts” who supposedly run our government on our behalf. Librarians who believe in the value and importance of access to accurate and truthful information may come to view government actions predicated upon an endless tapestry of lies and misinformation, to be a matter relevant to their professional concerns. Instead of a “leftward tilt” on Council evident, I detected more of a realization that what you don’t know — or aren’t allowed to know — can literally kill you and a lot of other folks as well.