Policy, Rights and Access to Information all shape our environment, community and lives in different ways with a variety of outcomes. Regardless of who you voted for in the recent presidential election there are strong feelings related to censorship and government transparency.
The Trump administration has seen a quick response to a perception that information should be censored. Activists within or connected to government agencies, set-up twitter handles recently to get information out to the public. New legislation was enacted under former President Obama that supports release of information and strives to improve transparency. Time will tell what further push back or support the new administration receives in its handling of information.
Once we have information, what we do with it is important and our ability to evaluate that information is critical. K-12 and University libraries may offer more insight than Public libraries into Critical Information Literacy. Perhaps it is time for Public Libraries to assist in this process. MLIS programs can play a part in preparing Information Professionals for this task to ensure that standard principles for evaluation are used. We have a right to information and this is considered a global right. This ties into the librarian’s roles and expectations to be a link to information. We have seen examples of a commitment to expression by the variety of services and events that occur at many libraries today.
As we pursue our right to transparency and work on pathways for improving how we evaluate information, we face other concerns. We must walk a delicate balance of protecting our rights, fighting terrorism and government control. It can be a never-ending tightrope of checks and balances but staying true to making our own decisions based on how we feel is vital.
Finally, as we have looked at Policy and discussed Human Rights we must remember Access to Information and removing barriers are key. We must continue to end barriers to all the rewards that libraries have to offer. The struggle is real and we must work hard to make sure there are enough libraries for all regardless of background, neighborhood or income. The thirty million-word gap must be reduced or eliminated. Libraries are important and we need to use, grow and expand them!
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This blog is a project for LIS 6010: Introduction to the Library and Information Science Profession. Group 3 runs the blog: Terri S., Heather L., Anne H., Shannon Y., Lauren A., and Melissa C.