INFORMATION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS PRINCIPLES
The convergence of computers and high-speed telecommunication networks provides increased opportunity for public access
to information and participation in the democratic processes of society. Conversely, access and participation could be reduced
through the imposition of user fees and centralized control.
Librarians, libraries, and library organizations will work to assure the 'public good' is represented in all government and corporate
initiatives for information dissemination and telecommunications policy. Co-operation with other organizations and public interest
groups to protect the social interest will strengthen the efforts of the library community.
ALL PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
The opportunity to learn to read and write is fundamental for all people. Literacy is a important requirement for participating in
the economic, social, cultural, and political life of the country.
Everyone should have the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills to find and use information.
UNIVERSAL, EQUITABLE, AND AFFORDABLE ACCESS
Access to basic information and telecommunication network services should be available and affordable to all regardless of age,
religion, ability, gender, sexual orientation, social and political views, national origin, economic status, location, and information
Diverse sources of information should be developed through encouraging non-profit organizations and community groups to provide information and opinions and by preventing information monopolies.
Opportunities should be created for broad public participation in the determination of information and telecommunication policy.
Individuals have the right to create, exchange, access and receive the widest range of ideas, information, and images.
Individuals should have the right to choose what information to receive and what not to receive and what information to give and not give including that which others may find objectionable.
PUBLIC SPACE ON THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
Government information is fundamental to participation in the democratic process and should therefore be accessible in a current, timely, accurate and comprehensive manner.
Access to government information should be guaranteed through active programs of dissemination.
Opportunities to communicate electronically with elected and appointed government representatives is a vital extension of democracy.
Government policies should encourage and support archiving of information in support of the collective human memory.
Government policies should encourage and support the development of community information networks, such as freenets.
Government should provide resources for libraries and other community organizations to make electronic access to information available and to provide training to the public in the use of such technology.
Individuals have the right to know the positive and negative personal and social consequences of the introduction of information technology.
Individuals have the right to a safe, ergonomically-sound environment and appropriate training or re-training when new
technologies are introduced.
Social policies accompanying the introduction of new and more efficient information technologies must emphasize benefits to the
whole population, such as greater leisure time and shorter work weeks rather than narrow economic interests.
Privacy of personal information should be carefully protected and extended.
Personal data collected should be limited to the minimum necessary and only after the prior written approval of the individual
Personal information collected for one purpose cannot be traded or sold without the express written approval of the individual
Individuals should have the right to examine personal information collected by government and corporations and have mistakes
corrected at no charge.
Draft approved by CLA executive council
June 18, 1994
1. The Canadian Library Association encourage the provincial library associations and each CLA division to establish an
information policy committee.
2. The Canadian Library Association work to form a national coalition of organizations for the pursuit of CLA Access
3. The Canadian Library Association encourage provincial library associations to form provincial coalitions in support of
the CLA Access Principles.
4. The Canadian Library Association Information Policy Committee work with CLA divisions, provincial associations and
other CLA committees to develop full policy papers on each of the areas outlined in the Access Principles.
5. The Canadian Library Association work to assure that all government information policy is formulated in a public arena.
6. The Canadian Library Association sponsor Information Rights Week between April 3rd - 10th, 1995 and that work begin
immediately to solicit organizational partnerships for this week.
7. The Canadian Library Association investigate the possibilities of holding public hearings across Canada in Fall 1995 on
information policy and telecommunications.
This page last updated 3 March 1996.
Copyright © BCLA Information Policy Committee
Back to the
Information Policy Home Page