Libraries exist to help people find information that solve problems, answer questions, or otherwise address important individual and community interests and needs. This blog was created to highlight some of the issues faced by libraries and the work carried out by librarians, library staff, library science students, and library supporters in New York City and beyond.
Luis Chaparro, 2008-09 President of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, has expressed the organization’s shared concern and distress over the recent arrest of library worker Marxavi Angel Martinez of Alamance County, North Carolina in a recent press release. Access a copy of the full press release here
REFORMA cannot remain silent. Ms. Martinez arrest affects us all: native born citizens, new and old immigrants and, of course, Native Americans-the truly indigenous people of this country. Ms. Martinez treatment by the law enforcement officials of Alamance County, North Carolina is a library, immigration, and human rights case—all wrapped in one. Additionally, the immigration issue touches on the history and legacy of colonialism, genocide, and injustice whose perverse effects still can be seen and felt by the communities served by REFORMA. As a library organization, REFORMA also advocates the confidentiality of personal information of library employers and patrons.
Visitor’s to the REFORMA website can make a donation via PayPal to the family of the detained library worker in NC.
The “Courses” page of Kathleen de la Peña McCook’s website includes a list of human rights organizations, primary sources for human rights issues, professional organizations committed to diversity and outreach, and readings and resources including:
Kirkpatrick, A. (2007). Truth and Youth: the First Victims of War – Military Mis-information and the Responsibility of Libraries. Information for Social Change v. 25, Summer.
Lewis, A. (2008). Questioning Library Neutrality: Essays from Progressive Librarian. Duluth: Library Juice Press.
(2007). ” Librarians as Advocates for the Human Rights of
Immigrants. Progressive Librarian v. 29, Summer:
(2004). “Public Libraries and People in Jail.” Reference and
User Services Quarterly v. 43: p. 26-30.
(Wikipedia says) Kathleen de la Peña McCook is Distinguished University Professor at the University of South Florida, active in the Tampa Bay area, having participated in the Community Action Board of Hillsborough County, and in an Asset Mapping for Youth Development community initiative. McCook is a community activist, a senator for the United Faculty of Florida Union, and a past member of the Coordinating Committee of the Progressive Librarians Guild. She now serves on the editorial board of the journal, Progressive Librarian.