Wednesday, August 21, 2013
FAIFE "The rights of our users" #wlic2013
IFLA conference in Singapore I am attending part of the session organised by FAIFE, Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression. "The overall objective of IFLA/FAIFE is to raise awareness of the essential correlation between the library concept and the values of intellectual freedom. To reach this goal IFLA/FAIFE collects and disseminates documentation and aims to stimulate a dialog both within and outside the library world." (from the website) The session was introduced by Kai Ekholm (Chair of FAIFE). He identified some of the prominent current freedom of information issues, and the work of FAIFE. This includes publishing "Spotlights". The spotlights for this year are: Freedom of expression and access to information in Syria today (Inaam Charaf), Interview to Saad Eskander, Director of Iraq National Library and Archives (INLA) (Suvi Kingsley) and Are digital laws making or breaking digital libraries? (Benjamin White): the Spotlight page is here http://www.ifla.org/faife/spotlight. The quote in the subject line of this post is how Ekholm described the role of libraries - supporting the rights of our users. He also challenged librarians to demonstrate their convictions: he wondered what it would take for libraries to shut for a day to show support for freedom of information or opposition to measures that threaten freedom of speech.