Wednesday, 11 April 2007


One of the matters I mentioned in my 100 word statement was values. I suggested that the key to our future is our core values. This is not just a statement of the obvious. Like other professions, library professionals have values which are integral to what they do. We handle information, and our primary value is the free flow of information.

From this core value come a great number of our activities as a profession. These activities are a very strong reason why libraries and library professionals should support their professional association. They include our long-standing opposition to censorship, our approach to copyright, our support for free access to libraries and cultural institutions more widely, and of course our strong support for libraries as an open public institution maintained for everyone and accessible to everyone.

How do these values translate into the Internet age? Our statement of values does not specifically refer to related online values, such as net neutrality and equity of access to online information, and maybe we should be thinking about these too. In doing this, we would have strong support from other groups like the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU), Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) and for that matter the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

It would be good if we could start to form the kinds of close connections with these bodies that we already have with the paper-descended associations like us - archivists, records managers, school libraries. Of course, none of us is limited to the paper business nowadays.

(My very varied Easter activities included a meeting on Tuesday involving Philip Argy (president of the ACS) and Holly Raiche (executive officer of ISOC-AU). And my first ever live rugby league game . . . Newcastle Knights and Melbourne Storm . . . another story altogether).

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