On libraries and intellectual self-defence

Type Journal Article - Access to libraries and information: Towards a fairer world
Title On libraries and intellectual self-defence
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
Page numbers 29
At the opening of this conference, the President of the
International Federation of Library Associations and
Institutions, Alex Byrne, argued that librarians and
information workers are obliged to “continue to fight
against the persecution and punishment of those who
express their opinions and of those who seek to
provide access to information, however repugnant we
might find their opinions or information” (Byrne,
Byrne argued further that librarians and information
workers will be unable to promote access to
information without defending intellectual freedom. In
these comments, Byrne points to the interrelatedness
of the rights of access to information and freedom of
expression, and further how advocacy around the
protection and promotion of both rights should be
central to the work of library associations. What one
can also infer from his statement is that librarians must
defend intellectual freedom in relation to libraries, but
should also defend intellectual freedoms beyond the
library’s walls. After all, if we do not value our free
thinkers, our critical intellectuals, we will not value our

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