CHICAGO – Today American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young released the following statement regarding the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
“The American Library Association condemns in the strongest possible terms yesterday’s attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the deaths of the twelve people there.
“Libraries and the press are the bedrock of democratic societies. Free expression is essential for librarians and journalists to do their jobs. Free speech is integral to the ethical values and best practices for both professions. Such attacks are counter to the values of access to information with diversity of views—and to the values of civic engagement, which encourages people to read and discuss these views without fear.
“The American Library Association reaffirms our support of the freedom to publish, read, and discuss. This horrific attack violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which ALA has endorsed:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.
“The ALA Library Bill of Rights and Code of Ethics embody these principles without apology.
“The news is still evolving in regard to this tragic event. We will continue to monitor the situation. We extend our solidarity with our library colleagues in France, particularly the Association of French Librarians, for their continued passion and service on behalf of freedom of speech in French society.”