Resolution on the "American Memory Project"

Adopted at 1997 Midwinter Meeting

WHEREAS the Buy America Act mandates that federal agencies use American goods and services whenever possible to promote maximum employment and living wages in the United States; and

WHEREAS the American Library Association explicitly supports a “full employment policy” and “living minimum wage” (ALA Policy 61); and

WHEREAS the Library of Congress (LC) has contracted for the digitizing of American Memory Projects work in Jamaica and the Philippines, in effect transferring American jobs to low-wage workers overseas; and

WHEREAS the Made in the USA Foundation, American Freedom of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 29, and the two AFSCME locals representing Library of Congress employees have filed suit against LC for violating the Buy America Act, charging that this outsourcing makes LC complicit in both depressing American wages and exploiting substandard wage rates abroad; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association firmly supports the Made in the USA Foundation/AFSCME lawsuit; and be it further

RESOLVED that SRRT urges the Library of Congress to speedily cancel all overseas digitizing work and in future only permit such work to be performed by American workers at living wages.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 123, p. 11