Saturday, November 10, 2007

Response to Julia Stephens' Anti-Spanish Screed in American Libraries. No. 494.

November 10, 2007

In January 2007 REFORMA passed the "Resolution in Support of Immigrant Rights" which was submitted to the American Library Association and approved and adopted by ALA Council on Wednesday, January 22, 2007. This resolution combined with information advocacy and commitment to social justice and human rights provides librarians with a solid ethical and organizational history to stand up to help immigrants.

Given this profession´s commitment to pluralism and diversity the screed by Julia Stephens (November 2007)against any language but English demonstrates her lack of knowledge about the political process, world geography or history. She has a right to her opinion, but American Libraries should correct her facts or at least provide the disclaimer that the editorial staff is aware of her incorrect statements.

In June, 2007 WebJunction sponsored the program "Effectively Dealing with Anti-Immigrant Sentiment," which focused on how libraries can create effective strategies for ensuring access to information to all people in their communities. Advocacy, federal legislation, issues and options for academic, public, and school libraries were addressed. Ms. Stephens demonstrates complete ignorance of these resources.

Kathleen de la Peña McCook, Distinguished University Professor
University of South Florida, Tampa

Librarian’s Toolkit for Responding Effectively To Anti-Immigrant Sentiment.
May, 2006

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