2012 Anaheim Council III

Memorials and resolutions were presented

Report from Committee on Legislation

Report from Intellectual Freedom Committee

Resolution on Homelessness and Libraries
 
Whereas “A democracy presupposes an informed citizenry. The First Amendment mandates the right of all persons to
​ free expression, and the corollary right to receive the constitutionally protected expression of others.”
​ (Economic Barriers to Information Access: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, Adopted June 30,
​ 1993, by the ALA Council);
 
Whereas “In the preamble to its Library Bill of Rights, the American Library Association affirms that all libraries are
​ forums for information and ideas. This concept of forum and its accompanying principle of inclusiveness
​ pervade all six Articles of the Library Bill of Rights.” (Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of
​ Sex, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sexual Orientation: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of
​ Rights, Adopted June 30, 1993, by the ALA Council; last amended July 2, 2008);

Whereas Article V of the Library Bill of Rights states that “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or
​ abridged because of origin, age, background, or views;”

Whereas “Libraries are charged with the mission of providing services and developing resources to meet the diverse
​ information needs and interests of the communities they serve. Services, materials, and facilities that fulfill the
​ needs and interests of library users at different stages in their personal development are a necessary part of
​ library resources. The needs and interests of each library user, and resources appropriate to meet those needs
​ and interests, must be determined on an individual basis.” (Free Access to Libraries for Minors: An
​ Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, Adopted June 30, 1972, by the ALA Council; last amended July 2,
​ 2008);

Whereas “The ‘right to use a library’ encompasses all the resources the library offers, including the right to attend
​library-initiated programs. Libraries do not deny or abridge access to library resources, including library-
​initiated programs, based on an individual’s economic background or ability to pay.” (Library-Initiated
​Programs as a Resource: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, Adopted January 27, 1982, by the
​ALA Council; last amended July 12, 2000);

Whereas “All library policies, regulations, and procedures should be carefully examined to determine if they may result
​ in denying, restricting or creating barriers to access” (Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of
​ Policies, Regulations and Procedures Affecting Access to Library Materials, Services and Facilities, Adopted
​ by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee June 28, 1994; revised January 19, 2005).;  

Whereas “Librarians and governing bodies should look for alternative models and methods of library administration that
​ minimize distinctions among users based on their economic status or financial condition.” (Economic Barriers
​ to Information Access: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, Adopted June 30, 1993, by the ALA
​ Council);

Whereas “The publicly supported library provides free and equal access to information for all people of the community t
​he library serves. While the roles, goals and objectives of publicly supported libraries may differ, they share
​this common mission.” (Economic Barriers to Information Access: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of
​Rights, Adopted June 30, 1993, by the ALA Council); and,
 
Whereas the ALA policy 61.1 states that “The American Library Association promotes equal access to information for
​ all persons, and recognizes the urgent need to respond to the increasing number of poor children, adults, and
​ families in America”;
 
Whereas this policy further states “it is crucial that libraries recognize their role in enabling poor people to participate
​ fully in a democratic society, by utilizing a wide variety of available resources and strategies;” and by
​ “Promoting the removal of all barriers to library and information services;”
 
Whereas people experiencing homelessness have no permanent address;
 
Whereas many public libraries require a permanent address to obtain a library card; and,
 
Whereas this requirement can serve as a barrier to free access to library materials and services, including the Internet:
​ now, therefore, be it;

Resolution on Homelessness and Libraries/Page 2
 
 
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), shall amend Article V of the Library Bill of Rights to include housing status, so that it now reads: “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, views or housing status.”
 
Mover’s Name and Telephone Number:
Al Kagan, 217-819-9975
 
A motion to refer this resolution to the Intellectual Freedom Committee was made.

I voted for this and it passed.

Molly Raphael made closing remarks.

Adjourned.

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