FROM BUENOS AIRES
information, documentation and libraries
attendees at the First Social Forum on Information,
Documentation and Libraries: alternative action
programs from Latin America for the information
society, held in Buenos Aires from August
26-28, 2004, was called by the Social Studies
Group on Library Science and Documentation (Argentina)
and the Study Circle on Political and Social Librarianship
We recognize that:
knowledge, documentation, archives, and libraries
are communal cultural goods and resources. They
are based upon and promoted by democratic values,
such as: freedom, equality, and social justice,
as well as tolerance, respect, equity, solidarity,
communities, society, and the dignity of individuals.
documentation center contributes to democratic
practice in the social and political spheres.
Conscious of this dimension, the foundation and
organization of these cultural goods and resources
must be constructed under the principal of knowledge
and information access that is free, open, and
egalitarian for everybody.
and political elements also are present that librarians,
documentalists, and archivists must take into
account in order to contribute to the formation
of cultural and civic identities sustained by
civil and socially responsible values.
We consider that:
documentalists, and archivists must participate
in the social and political processes related
to their cultural tasks, work environment, and
cultural workers are facilitators of social change,
opinion makers, promoters of the democratization
of information and knowledge, educational coordinators,
and actors engaged with the social and political
processes. Therefore, because the work that they
carry out is of fundamental importance to society
and the state, they must be granted full social
recognition, as well as an equitable and just
salary regulated by legislation in each country.
solidarity and cooperation, like networking, are
valuable tools that encourage the exchange of successful
experiences and broaden the objectives and challenges
in our daily work.
archives, and documentation centers must be places
that contribute to the development of human rights,
the preservation of memory, and the rediscovery
of the oral and written traditions that assure the
self-determination and sovereignty of all peoples.
and information services, as well as unrestricted
collection development, should be planned, constructed,
and offered by librarians, documentalists, and archivists
with the full collaboration of individuals, communities,
and organizations, particularly the least socially
and politically favored.
the theory and practice of library science, documentation,
and archival studies are determined by the needs
that these fields generate in the social sphere.
Therefore, the creation and practice of these disciplines
and professions must promote public opinion, critical
judgment, free decision making, and actively contribute
to the struggle against illiteracy in all its forms
with the goal of improving life and the collective
or personal environment of everyone.
into account their neutral or non-neutral practice,
individual thought, labor action, and citizen participation,
librarians, documentalists and archivists must construct
public spaces in their communities for the exchange
of information, thereby providing an incentive for
the discussion of political, social, ideological,
and cultural themes -- themes inherent in governmental
and societal problems.
knowledge, documentation, and libraries are a public
good that must not be governed or controlled by
market dynamics, but rather orchestrated by public
developmental policies, well being, and the defense
of society’s cultural heritage, in the interest
of insuring the public domain, diversity, plurality,
and the equality of all sectors of the population.
in the global professional field of information,
documentation centers, libraries, and archives,
the construction of discourse, out of the Latin
American and Caribbean reality, implies the use
of national languages as a means of communication.
Additionally, an awareness of indigenous languages
as a social and political reality in numerous Latin
American countries and the Caribbean requires their
recognition as generators of oral and written discourse
important to the preservation of these languages.
is a necessary guarantor of, and condition for,
the preservation and growth of information and knowledge
repositories. In accord with this idea, we firmly
condemn wars and all forms of violence that devastate
the human species and their cultural heritage. The
ongoing promotion of peace and the processes required
must become a social commitment of librarians, documentalists,
and archivists in their places of work and in the
cultural, social, and political spheres that concern
them as citizens.
order to offer services to minority and socially
vulnerable groups, it is necessary to eliminate
all forms of discrimination in information, documents,
and library systems: by sex, race, ethnicity, ideology,
economic status, social class, disabilities, migration,
sexual orientation, religion, and language.
serious ecological deterioration of our planet affects
life in general and, as a consequence, the well
being and quality of life of the human species.
We consider it essential that library and information
professionals connect environmental problems to
the development, organization, and diffusion of
information concerning the environment.
declare that the fair and just distribution of public
documents, goods, and resources is essential to
the achievement of freedom of access to information.
invite everyone to contribute to the realization
of the statements and propositions in this declaration.
Latin America and the Caribbean to the information
Aires, August 28, 2004
by Dana Lubow, M.L.S.
with help from Larry Oberg, M.L.S.
November 24, 2004