Hentoff shames the ALA

As a child, Nat Hentoff was encouraged by his local librarians to explore the world of ideas and imagination. He believes the citizens of Cuba also have the right to freedom of expression, and has challenged the ALA‘s governing council to take a stand.

A key policy of the American Library Association is its adoption of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the right to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.”

“It is my hope – and indeed, my expectation, knowing many librarians – that ALA members may begin to organize locally and regionally to bring to the governing council of American Library Association and the Fidelistas among the council’s members this proposed resolution: “Resolved, That the American Library Association joins with Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, International PEN, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Organization of American States, the European Union Council and Presidency, the German Bundestag Commission of Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, the French Communist Party, and the national library associations of Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic and Slovakia and Poland” (the latter four know communist dictatorships firsthand) “in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of those persons involved in the operation of independent libraries and the release of all Cubans arrested in March 2003 and imprisoned following one-day summary trials in April 2003 for the nonviolent exercise of their freedoms of expression, association and the freedom to read.”
This proposed resolution, which should be so natural and fundamental for the currently clueless governing council of the American Library Association, ends with: “Resolved, That the American Library Association call on the Cuban government authorities to return any materials confiscated from independent library collections which have not been burned or destroyed.”
When I told Ray Bradbury about the persecution of these independent librarians, he authorized me to quote him as also demanding their immediate release. Any of our libraries that have “Fahrenheit 451″ on their shelves should surely demand no less.”

Read the Moment of Truth for U.S. Librarians here.

1 thought on “Hentoff shames the ALA”

  1. I know it’s obvious, and unfortunately all too common, but these ALA people are grade-A, industrial strength hypocrites. I’d say unbelievable, but by now practically nothing surprises me.

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