The Human Right to a Public Library
Journal of Information Ethics, Forthcoming
32 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 10, 2012
As a result of the global economic turndown, many local and national governments are disinvesting in public libraries. This paper proposes that governments have an obligation to create and fund public libraries, because access to a public library is a human right. Starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and appealing to recent work in Human Rights Theory, I argue that there is a human right to information, which states are obligated to fulfill. Given that libraries are highly effective institutions for ensuring that this right is fulfilled, there is a derived human right to a public library.
Keywords: human rights, access to information, article 19, libraries
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation