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Information for Social Change

Information for Social Change

"an activist organisation that examines issues of censorship, freedom and ethics amongst library and information workers..."

ISC 17. Editorial

Welcome to issue 17 of Information for Social Change . In common with many other LIS journals we have now become an electronic publication. This means that we will no longer be producing hard copies of ISC. If you want a hard copy go to our website at and download a copy to print out.

This issue is in three parts. Part one features articles by John Pateman ( Developing a Needs Based Library Service ) and Martyn Lowe ( Activism and Archivist ). These are intended to stir up interest and debate so please send us your views.

Part two continues our theme of discussing the impact of globalization and privatization on library services. Ruth Rikowski has become our resident expert on this subject and she has made three further valuable contributions to this debate in this issue : Globalisation, libraries and information; Library Privatisation: fact or fiction?; and Still at your service - GATS, privatization and public services in the UK . We also feature an interview by Anders Ericson with Frode Bakken, on the subject of Free trade with library services - no "All clear" regarding GATS .

Part three is a round up of recent publications which affect public libraries in the UK - Framework for the future; The People's Network; Building Better Library Services; Overdue - how to create a modern public library service . This last title, by Charles Leadbetter of Demos, is particularly thought provoking. Its final sentence - "Libraries are sleep walking to disaster; it is time they woke up" - should give us all food for thought.

Our next issue, due out in January 2004, will include a report on the Libraries in the Third World Forum which is being held during the Culture and Development 3rd Congress in Havana, Cuba, between 9-12 June 2003. Participants at the Forum include ISC editor John Pateman, who will be taking part in a Round Table discussion on the theme of "libraries contribution to solidarity and social justice in a world of neo-liberal globalization".

We are also exploring the possibility, with our sister organization in the US, the Progressive Librarians Guild, of producing a joint issue of ISC and PLG, possibly on the theme of how the so-called "war on terror" is affecting library and information services.

Corrections and amendments

The article by Jane Mackenzie (The Quiet Storm) which appeared in ISC 16, was originally published in the Big Issue no 501, Aug 12-18th 2002, pp.10-11. Jane Mackenzie is the Deputy Editor (News) of the Big Issue.

The ISC website states that the "Green Anarchist" ceased publication in 2000. This is not the case! The "Green Anarchist" is still being published and can be obtained from BCM 1715, London, WC1N 3XX, UK. The cover price of issue No. 67 Autumn 02 is "£1 / $2, free to prisoners, £5,000 to cops"


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