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Social Responsibilities Round Table

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 2 months ago

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In June of 1968 a committee formed by Kenneth Duchac and Dorothy Bendix distributed a petition calling for the creation of an ALA Round Table on Social Responsibilities of Libraries. The purpose of the Round Table was:


"To provide a forum on the major issues of our times - war and peace, race, inequality of opportunity and justice, civil rights, violence - and the responsibilities of libraries in relation to these issues. To examine current library programs on these issues; to propose activities which will increase understanding of these issues. To promote action toward resolution of attendant, critical problems."


In January of 1969, the ALA Council approved the formation of the organization and over 125 people attended the first meeting. Attendees John Berry III and Shirly Havens commented that the list of concerns brought up at the meeting "reads like a catalog of library social weaknesses, the oversights and neglect of recent decades, changes in the society to which the library has not responded". The group set up several task forces to address these social concerns, including the Task Force on Intellectual Freedom, which was a joint effort with the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom to generate funds for libraries and librarians dealing with intellectual freedom challenges.


Now called the Social Responsibilities Round Table, the organization currently supports seven task forces:



At the 2005 ALA Annual Meeting, the SRRT helped to pass several new resolutions through the ALA Council, including the "Resolution on the Connection between the Iraq War and Libraries," which called for the withdrawal of US military forces in Iraq and the "Resolution on Disinformation, Media Manipulation and the Destruction of Public Information," which opposed manipulation of the media and government disinformation.



Berry, John III, and Shirly Havens. "Responsibility Round Table," __Library Journal __. 94. (1969): 1110-1111.

Samek, Toni. "The Library Bill of Rights in the 1960s: One Profession, one ethic," __Library Trends__. 45.1 (1996): 50-60.

Social Responsibilities Round Table Web site http://www.libr.org/srrt/

Schuman, Patricia. "Social Responsibility - A Progress Report," __Library Journal__. 94.10 (1969): 1950-1952.

__SRRT Newsletter__. 152/153 (2005) http://www.libr.org/srrt/news/srrt152.pdf



By Molly K.


Back to 1960s

Back to Libraries and intellectual freedom

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