December 12, 2017

Research Article: “The Human Right to a Public Library” (Preprint)

Title

The Human Right to a Public Library

Author

Kay Mathiesen, Assistant Professor
School of Information Resources and Library Science University of Arizona

Source

SSRN
Forthcoming in: Journal of Information Ethics

Abstract

As a result of the global economic turndown, many local and national governments are disinvesting in public libraries. This paper proposes that governments have an obligation to create and fund public libraries, because access to a public library is a human right. Starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and appealing to recent work in Human Rights Theory, I argue that there is a human right to information, which states are obligated to fulfill. Given that libraries are highly effective institutions for ensuring that this right is fulfilled, there is a derived human right to a public library.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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