The New Generation Advisory Committee exists to help strengthen the participation of students and recently graduated library and information professionals in the Association. The Committee provides advice to the ALIA Board of Directors on issues of relevance to students and new professionals. NGAC works to inform the Board with the aim of ensuring the Association’s relevance to these groups.
At the end of last week NGAC started a dialogue with the ALIA Board on the issue of the impending postal vote on the issue of marriage equality. This has resulted in a formal response and submission from NGAC to the Board, which was submitted on the 16th August. In the interest of transparency for the varied group of individuals that we represent for ALIA, please find attached below our full response to the Australia Marriage Law Postal Vote of November 2017.
The official ALIA response generated on the 15th is a good start, and NGAC thank the Board for taking that step, but NGAC feel that further action is needed. We have included a list of recommended actions that we feel ALIA, and other GLAMR organisations, can and should implement.
Our recommendations are as follows:
- Provide a strong voice advocating this as not a political issue, rather a human rights issue.
- Highlight the need to critically evaluate information quality and bias in public discourse.
- Provide guidance on how to register to vote.
- Circulate organisational, community and individual stories from clients and staff in the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Share and/or develop resources for creating safe spaces in libraries.
- Promote resources for educating library patrons about LGBTQIA+ themes and issues.
- Challenge the idea that Library services and professionals are inherently neutral, and that silence on the matter is an endorsement of existing inequality.
- Develop a poster/resource/toolkit that can be used by all libraries in the lead up to the vote, to inform public, staff, and clients and include how libraries can help those affected.
We invite you all, either as individuals or organisations to endorse this response and share it widely.
The ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee