Mikas blogg

Demonstration mot kriget i Irak, Helsingfors mars 2003
Börja med END!

29 June

Greetings from the US Social Forum in Atlanta

[World Social Forum] 

We had a workshop at the US Social Forum. [Photos at http://librarian.lishost.org/?p=801 ] Ten people attended. I think 80 percent were librarians, and by the way, this workshop, like many other of the USSF workshops, was held in a public library. The Auburn Avenue Research Library, in our case. 10 percent of the participants were a Veteran for Peace, and the resting ten percent were library activists - myself among them. Two Danish students and a film-maker from (?) Arizona also showed up at the workshop at a later stage.

Eileen Harger from the Progressive Librarians Guild, a nation-wide network that published "Progressive Librarian", chaired the meeting. The PLG brings up many important issues for debate and resolution within the American Library Association. The ALA, unfortunate coincidence, finished its yearly conference in Washington just yesterday, so some of the PLG activists went there instead of coming to the USSF. The ALA has some 70.000 members, and some of their conferences have more participants than the USSF, although I do not know how many we are here at the USSF. Maybe 15.000? That is a figure I have heard.

Elaine was seconded by Melissa Morrone, a public librarian from Brooklyn and an activist of Radical Reference. Melissa has prepared a little survey with questions for social activists, such as "Do you use your library for anything related to your activist work? If Yes, in what manner?". I have so far conducted only one interview with Melissa's form in hand. The guy I asked said No. He does not use his library. He uses the internet instead.*

Dr Kathleen de la Peña McCook, who is a library scientist teaching at the university of South Florida, spoke about the role and the duties of libraries for human rights, especially the human rights of the immigrants (in the USA). The library is, or should absolutely be, a place where the immigrant can go and feel welcome, and find the needed information! (This is an example of issues that are discussed in the PLG and the ALA, too). I, as a library acitvist, tried to explain why the library and the social forum need each other and belong together. I believe some people are starting to understand this now. Although many still believe that the library is a marginal thing, which comes after water, food, peace, health etc. Just as an experiment of thought: start with the library, and everything else will follow.

We are collecting materials from the USSF in a box near the media center. It will of course be more like a sample than the full documentation. Hopefully, other librarians will follow the example at other social fora. With the help of the accumulated library science we will ultimately develop and refine our methods. The social forum process will get the memory and the continuity it deserves. I still have a dream that world society will get a world library. To be continued.

  • Mikael
  • I think the internet, too, is a library and, off the record, told him so.

Mer förnuft, tack!| Paradsidan | The library and the thousand and one activities
(Kommentarer saknas.)

Posta en kommentar

Skriv ordet du ser på bilden i textfältet: refresh

>> Mikas hemsida

Powered by COREBlog

laskuri alkaen-påbörjad-started 2014-01-23