International Responsibilities Task Force

Charge

Advocates socially responsible positions on issues of international library concern.

Roster

Resources

Statement of Purpose

SRRT LogoThe SRRT International Responsibilities Task Force provides a forum for discussion and work on the international dimensions of SRRT issues, including organizational alliances. As globalization proceeds, it is imperative that SRRT understand its mission in the international context, and work with sister organizations in other countries to address common concerns and problems.

Two kinds of activities are addressed: foreign policy and international relations:

  • Foreign policy includes bilateral and multilateral relations with governments, corporations, and organizations in various countries. Particular attention is given to current situations where United States policy is likely to have a major impact.
  • International relations includes alliances and relationships with library and related organizations throughout the world. Issues addressed include foreign policy as well as issues that may be seen as local but similar in many countries.

Functions

  1. To provide information and advocate socially responsible positions on issues of international concern within SRRT, ALA, and the international library arena through programs, resolutions, and reports.
  2. To change ALA policies to reflect socially responsible positions, make such policies known within ALA and internationally, and implement these policies.
  3. To promote international human rights, including implementation of Article 19 on freedom of expression, of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  4. To serve as liaison with other progressive library and related organizations worldwide, and promote cooperative endeavors.
Composition

Coordinators: Mark Hudson (hudsonme@mac.com) and Mark Rosenzweig (iskra@earthlink.net)

Publications

Publications:

Topics Addressed by IRTF, with Resources
  • Free Speech Issues. Includes information on our June 2019 Discussion Group, “Hate Speech and Libraries.” Also includes reading lists and links to resources on the topics of “Hate Speech vs. Free Speech” and “Anti-BDS Legislation” (with a link to a separate page on “Anti-BDS Legislation: The Library Connection),“ and links to SRRT resolutions and statements on free speech issues.

  • Global Climate Change. Includes information on the IRTF June 2017 program with Bill McKibben, “Imaging a World That Works – In Time to Prevent a World That Doesn’t.” Also includes a list of previous SRRT programs on global climate change, three reading lists, a database of materials on sustainable libraries from the Sustainability Round Table, the SRRT recommendation packet to explore a new direction for the ALA Endowment, and SRRT resolutions on socially responsible investments.

  • Iran. Includes a description of our IRTF program on Iran with Trita Parsi scheduled for June 2023 and a reading list on Iran suggested by Trita Parsi.

  • Native American Rights. Includes information on and a link to our June 2020 IRTF Program, “Native American Treaty Rights in the Time of Covid-19;” reading lists of titles on Native American treaty rights suggested by Tadd Johnson, Winona LaDuke, and Dallin Maybee; and link to a resolution related to Native American rights endorsed by SRRT.

  • Palestinian Libraries. Includes information on the IRTF January 2020 discussion group, “Libraries in Gaza: Between Despair and Hope” with Mosab Abu Toha; information on and a link to the June 2016 IRTF program “Palestinian Libraries under Occupation” with Randa Kamal and Diana Sayej-Naser; reading lists on Palestinian libraries, and links to SRRT resolutions related to SRRT resolutions and statements related to Palestine.

  • U.S. Foreign Policy. Includes information on the June 2019 SRRT program with Phyllis Bennis on U.S. foreign policy and on the June 2019 program with Stephen Kinzer on “Interfering with Other People’s Elections;” reading lists of titles on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East suggested by Phyllis Bennis and on U.S. interventions abroad suggested by Stephen Kinzer; and links to SRRT resolutions on U.S. foreign policy.

  • Whistleblowers and Mass Government Surveillance. Includes information on the IRTF programs and film showings with Glenn Greenwald (2015), William Binney, Emma Cape, and Patrice McDermott (2012), and Daniel Ellsberg (2011). Also includes a reading list and links to SRRT resolutions.
Get Involved

Membership

SRRT members who state their interest in or attend at least one International Responsibilities Task Force meeting per year will be considered IRTF members.