Resolution on the National Information Infrastructure (NII)

Adopted at 1994 Midwinter Meeting

Whereas although the Clinton Administration in its NII policy statement calls for meaningful and equitable access to information for all, its strategy focuses mainly on the private sector and slights America's already existing public information infrastructure-its tens of thousands of publicly-funded libraries, and

Whereas libraries are an ideal and essential public space to facilitate meaningful and equitable access to the electronic information highway, and libraries have a crucial role to play in helping to mediate access to knowledge and information, and

Whereas funding for libraries is being seriously diminished all across this country, even as we are about to establish a new and costly NII, and

Whereas in the present fiscal and political climate there is no guarantee that access to the information highway will be affordable either to non-affluent Americans or to underfunded libraries, and

Whereas this public policy debate carries enormous stakes for the future of libraries, librarians, and the rights of everyone to information in its various forms, now therefore

Be It Resolved that the American Library Association energetically promote a broad grassroots mobilization of librarians, in local and regional coalitions, with all those concerned with equitable access to information, in order to pressure NII decision-makers to guarantee free access to the NII through the already existing public infrastructure-libraries, and

Be It Further Resolved that the ALA encourage its affiliate organizations and all libraries to use such occasions as National Freedom of Information Day (March 16) and National Library Week (April 17-23) to focus public attention on these issues, and

Be It Further Resolved that the ALA declare 1995 to be National Access to Information Year and encourage its divisions and affiliates to use this theme in planning programs and activities for the Annual ALA Conference in Chicago in 1995.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 111, p. 2