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Bookphoria with Victoria – On Human Rights Libraries (2/2)

Libraries are essential to democracy, providing equitable access to information and upholding human rights. They promote intellectual freedom, education, and cultural participation. Despite challenges like censorship and digital disparities, libraries strive to bridge divides and innovate to meet evolving needs. By resisting censorship and expanding access, libraries uphold their core values and advance human rights for all.

See the latest recommendations from our Senior Librarian, Victoria Heisler.

Transformative library and information work profiles in social justice / Stephen Bales, Tina Budzise-Weaver. 

ISBN: 9780081030127  


From the publisher: Intended to be an accessible guide to transformational information work, the book collects approximately thirty brief case studies of information related organizations, initiatives, and/or projects that focus on social justice related activities. Each case is a short narrative account of its particular subject’s history, objectives, accomplishments, and challenges faced. It also describes the material realities involved in the subjects’ day-to-day operation. Furthermore, cases include pertinent excerpts from interviews conducted with individuals directly involved with the information organization and will conclude with three-to-five bulleted takeaway points for information workers to consider when developing their own praxis

Developing a Human Rights Library / by Helena Olsson, Lena Olsson, Gabriel Stein, Karl Adam Tiderman 

ISBN 9781839825972 

On the RWI Shelf: 61:1 DEV 

Or via free pdf.  

From the publisher: All human rights libraries share a purpose – to promote human rights or at least information about human rights. They do this by offering advice, space and materials for the purposes of education, research, investigation and public awareness. The importance of the human rights library and library staff for promoting human rights will be a recurrent theme throughout this resource.
We hope that this text can inspire and contribute to the development of libraries around the world – libraries that are linked to each other and to their users not only by technology but by solidarity and the long and proud skills and traditions of the trade. Networking and sharing are, on many levels, at the heart of librarianship, not only between library staff and their users, but between and among library staff. The sheer number of library associations around the world is proof of the strong sense of common purpose and solidarity librarians have for each other. It is our conviction that the strategy of networking will continue to bear fruit, becoming even more powerful with the new generation of libraries. Librarianship has not played out its role. With the proper adjustments in skills and equipment, the trade is just taking off to explore its full potential for human rights promotion. Based on the experiences of the library at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and lessons learned in the last decade from libraries around the world that we have helped to set up, strengthen or collaborate with, we argue that well-equipped and supported human rights libraries and library staff can strongly contribute to their institution’s objectives in the field of human rights. We believe libraries will continue to work wonders as promoters of human rights and for the empowered participation of people in making human rights a reality in their societies.

Libraries and the global retreat of democracy : confronting polarization, misinformation, and suppression / edited by Natalie Greene Taylor, Karen Kettnich, Ursula Gorham Paul T. Jaeger  

ISBN: 9781839825972 


From the publisher: This latest volume of the Advances in Librarianship series presents original research exploring the modern state of democracies and social institutions, the contributions of libraries to the health and progress of democracies, and the political problems currently facing libraries as institutions. It details the best practices of library programs that provide political literacy education and promote civic engagement within communities. These practices include ways in which libraries can help diffuse political polarization, address significant policy issues of our day, promote political information literacy, support civic engagement, and facilitate participation in democratic processes.

Libraries and the Global Retreat of Democracy: Confronting Polarization, Misinformation, and Suppression is structured in three sections – questions of personal and state democracy, investigations of how the information infrastructure shapes these democracies, and explorations of the ways that libraries can and do contribute to democracy. Situating libraries within political conversations, highlighting their centrality to these discussions, Libraries and the Global Retreat of Democracy focuses on how libraries coordinate their work in political and information literacy and how these efforts can be improved, he recommendations and examples within which will serve as inspiration and motivation to its readers.

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