Seizing the Time
Information for Social Change is an activist organisation that examines issues of censorship, freedom and ethics amongst library and information workers. It is committed to promoting alternatives to the dominant paradigms of library and information work and publishes its own journal, Information for Social Change (freely available online at http://www.libr.org/isc).
The ways by which information is controlled and mediated has a serious influence on the ways people think, how they communicate, what they believe is the “real world”, what the limits of the permissible are. This applies equally to information that comes through the channels of the mass media, through our bookshops or through our libraries.
Of course, free and equal access to information is a myth throughout the world, although different situations pertain in different countries. Control is more explicit and cruder in some places, more “sophisticated” and more invisible elsewhere (for example in Britain). One of the aims of Information for Social Change is to document these situations.
But we want to go further than that, documenting also the alternatives to this control, the radical and progressive channels by which truly unfettered, unmediated ideas may circulate. And further still: to encourage information workers to come together, to share ideas, to foster these alternatives – whether we are publishers, librarians, booksellers, communication workers or distributors. Whoever you are, if you are in sympathy with us, join us.
Putting Ideas Into Action
- To address issues of freedom of information and censorship as they affect library and information work.
- To promote alternatives to mainstream library and information provision.
- To provide a forum for the exchange of radical views on library and information issues.
- To debate ethics and freedom within the library and information professions.
- To challenge the dominant paradigms of library and information work. We publish a journal Information for Social Change twice a year.
We also organise seminars and conferences, sometimes in associations with other progressive organisations such as LINK and the Black Radical and Third World Book Fair. The Better Read than Dead conferences, for example looked at non-capitalist library provisions in Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and China. The conference proceeding were subsequently published.
Information for Social Change is an organisation in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).