In the wake of the disappearance of public information from US official websites and of orders from the new US administration silencing federal government experts and scientists from agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, American library associations have been raising their voices in the past week:
- The Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association: "Amidst reports of the Trump administration’s attempts to order media blackouts of federal agencies, it’s important that we resist any attempt to use the power of government to stifle the very agencies charged, like libraries, with the dissemination of information (...) To restrict citizens’ access to information essential to their health because it fails to agree with the political viewpoint of a particular administration is blatant government censorship. Rather than returning power to the American people, such strategies endanger us."
- American Association of Law Libraries: "[AALL President Ronald E. Wheeler Jr.]: As legal information professionals, law librarians rely on accurate,
timely information to serve government officials, judges, the bar, legal
scholars, and members of the public. We urge the new Administration and
Congress to support an open and transparent government in which all
people have access to official, trustworthy information produced by all
three branches of government (...) As James Madison once wrote, 'A popular Government
without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a
Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will
forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own
Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives'."
Labels: access to information, government accountability, government_USA, library associations