ALA Annual – Anaheim proposed Resolution #2

RESOLUTION ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND WIKILEAKS

WHEREAS, WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization that publishes submissions of secret documents from anonymous sources and news leaks; and
WHEREAS, WikiLeaks has made available thousands of important documents concerning United States foreign and military policy; and
WHEREAS, WikiLeaks is performing a vital watchdog role by expanding citizens’ knowledge on matters of vital public concern, following in the steps of the newspapers that published the Pentagon Papers, courageously supplied by Daniel Ellsberg; and
WHEREAS, Support for WikiLeaks should be a concern for all those who believe in the right to know and intellectual freedom, and most especially librarians; and
WHEREAS, WikiLeaks is under tremendous pressure from many governments, elected officials, and prominent personalities to stop publishing leaked documents; and
WHEREAS, The American Library Association has signed a joint letter with many other organizations asking the United States government to reverse its order to US government agencies blocking access to WikiLeaks, in support of publishers’ and citizens’ first amendment rights, and against the possible application of the Espionage Act against WikiLeaks; therefore be it
RESOLVED that the American Library Association
1. Supports the rights of WikiLeaks to publish leaked government documents;
2. Commends the efforts of WikiLeaks to expunge from documents names and other material deemed potentially harmful to innocent people;
3. Commends WikiLeaks for performing a public service by making available important documents related to foreign and military policy;
4. Recommends that libraries consider linking their websites to the WikiLeaks website where appropriate; and
5. Condemns any harassment of WikiLeaks.

Supporting document:

Policy Manual 53.1 Library Bill of Rights:
1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

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