It’s nearly Thanksgiving in the US, and as we reflect on the things in life for which we’re most thankful, libraries are certainly high on the list. Here on Hack Library School, we’ve had plenty of posts dealing with reasons to get involved with professional organizations and conferences, from opportunities for training to networking and more! Even if you’re not prepared to join a committee, there are often other ways to give back to the profession. One of them in particular needs a signal-boost from the entire library community: The Declaration for the Right to Libraries. Here’s what you need to know:
The cornerstone of ALA president Barbara Stripling’s Libraries Change Lives presidential initiative, The Declaration for the Right to Libraries is “designed to build the public will and sustained support for America’s right to libraries of all types – academic, special, school and public.” Over the next year, libraries, library schools, and community groups are encouraged to hold signing events, which invite community members to publicly, unilaterally declare their right to vibrant, dynamic library access. These events are designed to spark conversation and raise awareness of libraries, as well as to help libraries nurture a network of community advocates. By bringing people into frank conversations on the challenges facing libraries, the declaration will also help to foster a sense of libraries as the hub for community dialogue.
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.
It’s your turn! First off, go sign the online declaration at http://www.ilovelibraries.org/declaration/sign . (The numbers will be used for advocacy in the future, so it’s really helpful to sign online!) Then, tell everyone you know to do the same. Work with your local libraries to plan a signing event, join the social media campaign to help spread the word, and go practice your library advocacy skills!