Library associations and social responsibilities: the cases of ALA and IFLA

  • Al Kagan University of Illinois Library, 1408 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA


As well as promoting the enhancement of their member libraries and librarians, library associations can play an important role within civil society. Indeed libraries and their associations function within societies and have an important role in the well being of their communities. Library associations should not only promote traditional library activities such as the promotion of reading and literacy, but also serve as progressive forces for change. They can serve to protect and enhance civil liberties and freedom of expression, and can promote community organization for enhancing the quality of life. This article highlights the history and experience of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Social Responsibilities Discussion Group of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). It is an update of Kagan (2001).

Innovation Vol. 31 2005: 66-75

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1025-8892