Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Maurice J. Freedman, Candidate for ALA President

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Maurice J. Freedman, Candidate for ALA President

Article excerpt

From my teen days as a page at the Newark (N.J.) Public Library through the years at U.C. Berkeley's School of Librarianship and the Free Speech Movement, the Library of Congress, Hennepin County Library, NYPL, and the Westchester Library System, I have fought for free access and information equity. Today, as our libraries face laws mandating filters, the loss or privatization of government information, a growing digital divide, and the outsourcing of library service and management, we need a strong ALA more than ever.

My pledge to you is that I will use the power of the ALA presidency to fight for:

* Free access to libraries and information for all irrespective of economic condition, physical challenges, ethnicity, national origin, sexual preference, or age.

* Fair use of databases and software (NO to UCITA! NO to excessive limitations on use in licensing agreements).

* Unfettered and unfiltered access to information in all formats.

* Increased funding for libraries and government publication programs.

* Pay equity for all library workers.

* Programs and funding to ensure the recruitment, education, and retention of a diverse library workforce.

* Support for early childhood initiatives and family literacy.

* Keeping the L in library education by requiring ALA-accredited schools to teach library administration, services, and principles.

As a librarian with a Ph.D. in librarianship who has chosen to work on the frontlines, I have a proven record of fighting for the core principles of our profession, foremost of which is intellectual freedom. I was the only librarian who testified in the successful ACLU/ALA law-suit to overthrow New York State's harmful-to-minors Internet law. I plan to participate in the ACLU lawsuit against federally mandated filtering (CIPA).

As director of the Westchester Library System, a 38 public library cooperative serving 875,000, I have developed consensus-building skills that will help ALA better meet the needs of its units and rationalize differing perspectives. My cable TV show and the library advocates group that I founded increase public awareness of libraries and the issues they face in Westchester County. …

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