Join FAIR: Advocacy for the library and information sector

Monday, 2 February 2015

FAIR is a major new initiative from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).

FAIR stands for Freedom of Access to Information and Resources (FAIR). Fairness underpins the professional ethos of the library and information sector and it’s this value that sets us apart from other organisations that occupy a similar space. People can buy books from bookshops, they can search for answers through Google, they can meet in a wifi-enabled cafe, but none of these other providers of content, information, space and technology come with the same brand of equity and fairness that is provided by libraries.

So FAIR was a natural fit when ALIA was seeking a way of bringing together all of it's advocacy initiatives. FAIR worked both as an acronym and as a sentiment that encapsulated ALIA's and the sector's objectives.

What do we want to achieve with FAIR?

We aim to increase the reach and profile of ALIA's advocacy for the library and information sector. ALIA wants to engage with library patrons on particular issues through campaigns and use this engagement to create a long term relationship so we can stand together and champion causes.

Who is our target audience?

We’re looking to ALIA Members and the library and information sector in the first instance, carrying the message through to library patrons via social media and in-library promotion.

What are the issues?

There are so many areas of concern to choose from. There will be featured campaigns, for example, school library staffing, public library budgets, copyright reform, and support for government libraries. ALIA will provide information about the challenges to TAFE library funding, the importance of health information, family literacy, changes to higher education – all the things that put Freedom of Access to Information and Resources (FAIR) at risk.

How can you be involved?

Subscribe to the free newsletter, think about how you can use the resources we have provided to share the messages with friends and colleagues. Encourage your contacts to spread the word to the wider community and follow the conversation on social media. Find us on Twitter @joinFAIR and on Facebook at facebook.com/joinFAIR. There will be individual campaigns on particular issues and there will be a call to action. Where these campaigns especially resonate with you, we welcome your active participation. The strength of our case for change will be increased by having a critical mass of supporters to draw on.

Where do we go from here?

Our target is to have a base of 10,000 supporters for FAIR by the end of 2015. We have talked to other organisations with shared interests, and you can expect to see even greater collaboration to promote the value of library and information services and the professionals who deliver them.