Press Release: Supes Pass Resolution to Support Digital Libraries

From District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan:

Board of Supervisors Unanimously Passes Supervisor Connie Chan’s Resolution in Support of Digital Libraries 

On April 18, the SF Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Supervisor Connie Chan’s resolution in Support of Digital Libraries and the Internet Archive. The resolution recognizes the essential rights of all libraries to own, preserve, and lend both digital and print books and urges the California State Legislature and the United States Congress to act to protect digital libraries. 

The Internet Archive is a non-profit research library that preserves Internet sites and other cultural artifacts, providing free access to researchers, historians, scholars, people with print disabilities, and the general public. Additionally, the internet Archive provides access to over 41 million books and texts through its Controlled Digital Lending Program. The Internet Archive library includes preservation of books that the public might not otherwise be able to access, either due to book bans, physical obstacles, or geographic licensing unavailability. 

“At a time when we are seeing an increase in censorship and book bans across the country, we must move to preserve free access to information,” said Supervisor Connie Chan. “I am proud to stand with the Internet Archive, our Richmond District neighbor, and digital libraries throughout the United States.”

Earlier today, Supervisor Chan was joined by Brewster Kahle, Founder, Internet Archive, Cindy Cohn, Executive Director Electronic Frontier Foundation, Chuck Roslof, Lead Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation, Liz Henry, local author, and activists for a press conference and rally in support of digital libraries and access to information. 

“It’s a sad day that we have to be here to talk about the importance of maintaining free access to information,” said Brewster Khale, Chief Librarian of the Internet Archive. “We must stand firm in our commitment to providing universal access to all knowledge.”

“The Internet Archive and its goal of universal access to all human knowledge represents the best of Technology.” said Cindy Cohen, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “We must stand up for the privacy of our reading, the digital lending strategies that publishers want to promote violates our privacy and our ability to investigate freely.”  

This resolution will now go to the mayor for signature and then will be sent to the California State Legislature and the U.S. Congress to urge their support. 

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