Resolution Against Disinformation Campaigns

Adopted at 2005 Midwinter Meeting

Whereas the mission of our professional association, the American Library Association, is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all (Policy Manual 1.2); and

Whereas the ethos of professional librarianship is characterized by commitments to intellectual freedom, open access to information and accuracy of information in pursing the goal of assisting in the development of an informed citizenry capable of functioning in a political democracy; and

Whereas ALA recognizes the contribution librarianship can made in giving support for efforts to help inform and educate the people of the United States on critical problems facing society (Policy Manual, 1.1); and

Whereas inaccurate information, falsehoods, distortions of truth and covert disinformation campaigns are anathema to the ethos of librarianship and to the functioning of a healthy democracy; and

Whereas substantial documentary evidence exists revealing the history of the U.S. to be riddled with the use of falsehoods in pursuit of political and economic power - practices which clearly constitute a "critical problem facing society" and make the development of an informed citizenry extremely difficult; and

Whereas in recent years the international library community has been subjected to one of these disinformation campaigns, one disguised as a "defense" of "independent librarians" in Cuba, but in actuality part of a larger effort to sway public opinion toward acceptance and support of a U.S. invasion of Cuba - a country which poses no threat to the U.S.; therefore be it

Resolved that SRRT encourages its members to help raise public consciousness of the many ways in which disinformation campaigns are used to manipulate public opinion in all spheres of life;

Resolved that the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) denounces the use of librarianship as a cover for disinformation campaigns; and be it further

Resolved that the SRRT calls on the American Library Association, all its members and affiliates to join in efforts to inform the public about the widespread use of disinformation campaigns within our society.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 150/151, p. 21