We live in a time where the spread of censorship, exclusionary rhetoric, and “alternative facts” represent a real threat to intellectual freedom and other core values of librarianship. These values articulate the importance of diverse communities and the need for intellectual freedom in the face of current social, political, and cultural debates, which can be exclusionary and hateful.
In light of the policies and other actions being introduced by the new US administration, library and information professionals throughout the world are being compelled to revisit and defend their professional values. For example, the BCLA recently endorsed an American Library Association (ALA) statement defending library core values, which specifically addressed issues regarding access to information, discrimination. and intellectual freedom.
The editors of BCLA Perspectives invited library and information professionals to contribute to this special issue of the Association’s quarterly online newsletter. ‘’The Library Values Issue’’ features articles and other content related to BCLA’s stated values:
- Access and Inclusion
- Intellectual Freedom
- Innovation and Creativity
- Literacy and Lifelong Learning
While it may seem obvious that library professionals should support library values, in this current political climate – where threats to information access and intellectual freedom are a reality – it is particularly important to understand their purpose and power. ‘’The Library Values Issue’’ is an opportunity for members of the BC library community (and beyond) to reflect upon the standards established by the Association, which are similar to those put forth by the ALA and other library organizations.
Using BCLA’s stated values as a template, this issue is a direct response to new and ongoing challenges to these standards. Each article in the issue explores a specific value (or set of values) of the Association, which we hope will help to strengthen and reinvigorate library and information professionals’ connections with these values.
We look forward to producing future issues themed on other relevant topics, and are already in the process of planning an education issue for August 2017. As always, we invite your questions, comments, and content via [email protected].
Cassie McFadden, Nolan Kelly, Tim McMillan
Editors, BCLA Perspectives