Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Librarian’s Toolkit for Responding Effectively To Anti-Immigrant Sentiment. A Librarian at the Kitchen Table. No. 382.

Librarian’s Toolkit for Responding Effectively To Anti-Immigrant Sentiment.

Many librarians across the United States are struggling to provide or continue to provide adequate library service to Latinos and other immigrants in the face of anti-immigrant sentiment that serves to dehumanize and criminalize family members and workers who seek a better life for themselves and their loved ones in the United States. REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, strives to be at the forefront of the effort to educate the general public about the communities we serve and to advocate for and seek to protect Latinos’ rights to decent library service. As librarians and library workers, we pride ourselves on access to relevant information.
In that vein, we offer these materials for use by library administrators, staff, and all other interested parties in an effort to enlighten, inform, and expand their knowledge of immigrants and their rights to free public library access. The American Library Association Council joined REFORMA in June 2005 in approving the
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS TO FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY ACCESS. Furthermore, in April 2006, REFORMA passed a resolution opposing H.R. 4437 (the Sensenbrenner Bill) due to its deleterious effect on the entire Latino community: RESOLUTION OPPOSING SENSENBRENNER BILL (H.R. 4437). As an affiliate association of the American Library Association, we reaffirm concepts from the Library Bill of Rights here: …”that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people [emphasis added] of the community the library serves.”

…”V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.”

Recommendations to Enable, Encourage, and Increase Access to the Library by the Latino Community

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