5 August 2009
Loida Garcia-Febo Elected Chair of ALA IFRT
FAIFE Committee Member Loida Garcia-Febo, has just been elected Vice Chair/ Chair Elect of the American Library Associations Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT). Below are details regarding the IFRT and Loida's update on IFLA/FAIFE's activities in the recent 'IFRT Report'.
Jen Hammond, Staff Liaison
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs, and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.
Provides broad opportunities for ALA members to become involved in the support of freedom of access and freedom of expression in libraries
Supports librarians involved in censorship controversies
Monitors intellectual freedom developments affecting library and information services
Provides a forum where ALA members involved in intellectual freedom activities on the state and local level can discuss programs, activities, and problems
Organizes conference programs on topics related to intellectual freedom
IFLA/ FAIFE Activities - Update
For the past several years I have worked with IFLA's Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) to promote free and equal access to information. FAIFE is an initiative within IFLA to defend and promote the basic human
rights defined in Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. FAIFE furthers free access to information and freedom of expression in all aspects, directly or indirectly, related to libraries and librarianship. It also monitors the state of intellectual freedom within the library community world-wide, and supports IFLA policy development and cooperation with other international human rights organizations. FAIFE members were very busy during 2008 and are already actively working on 2009 projects. During 2008, they presented Internet access workshops to give librarians guidance for freedom of access to information through libraries in Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, Philippines, Jamaica, and Zambia. Workshops about equal access to information for all about HIV/AIDS were presented in South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria and Mexico. Awareness of the role of libraries in helping fight corruption, censorship, and poverty was discussed at workshops in Brazil and Moldova. Information barriers, the impact of technology, and cultural diversity in developing countries was addressed at conferences in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and Egypt including cities such as Alexandria, Cairo and Dubyat.
A number of the Internet and HIV/ AIDS workshops followed a 'train the trainers' format that allowed training of librarians from a global to a local perspective. Librarians from a particular region of the world would met in a country, receive training, return to their countries and train local colleagues. These colleagues would return to their cities or villages and train other librarians. FAIFE goals for 2009 include year-long Internet workshop programs in Peru, Philippines, and Russia to train librarians on Internet access. These workshops include three phases. The first phase covered the training of librarians from various regions within those countries (March-May 2009). During the forthcoming second phase, those librarians go back to their local areas and train their colleagues to present workshops. Finally, during the third phase, FAIFE trainers and original trainees will meet to discuss workshops and their outcomes. A fourth phase to be developed by local organizers and IFLA staff, would comprise reports from each country including impact of the workshops and recommendations for the future.
Also on 2009, HIV/AIDS and public health access workshops will be presented in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. Materials about Public Access to Health Materials are being developed and will be tested in these countries. Lastly, FAIFE World Report 2009 Data Collection process is underway and all indicates that the 2009 would be a most useful resource.
For more information about FAIFE, visit
Materials used on FAIFE workshops are
available at http://www.ifla.org/en/publications/30
FAIFE World Report series available at
Loida Garcia-Febo, Assistant Coordinator of
New Americans Program and Special Services,
Queens Library. She is a member of
IFLA/FAIFE , ALA/IFC and will be the Vice
Chair/ Chair Elect of IFRT in July 2009.
By Loida Garcia-Febo