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Libraries and Human Rights—Working Together to Reach Our Full Potential

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice

ISBN: 978-1-78635-058-9, eISBN: 978-1-78635-057-2

Publication date: 26 February 2015



This chapter highlights how effective school and public libraries not only provide resources and information about human rights but also actually ensure people’s human rights are being met through their resources and programming.


In this chapter, both human rights documents and library policies are studied to see how effective libraries help children and adults reach their full potential as human beings. Findings by other researchers in this area are also discussed. Concrete examples of human rights projects through school and public libraries in Winnipeg, Canada are identified. The benefits of collaboration are also explored.


Knowledgeable and passionate librarians in schools and public libraries are essential in providing quality education and information rights to children and adults. Through effective collaboration with teachers, other libraries and relevant organizations, children and adults have more opportunities to reach their full potential. Canada’s newest school library document called Leading Learning is explored.


This chapter provides a current snapshot of how school and public libraries are collaborating together and with various organizations in Winnipeg, Canada, to promote and ensure human rights for children and adults. Libraries are consciously blending the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the Conventions on the Rights of the Child along with national and international library policy documents to ensure effective access to quality education and information rights for everyone. Dynamic and evolving libraries are also supporting human rights by incorporating innovative concepts, programs and resources such as Universal Design for Learning, Learning Commons, Makerspaces and prison libraries.



Fogarty, V. (2015), "Libraries and Human Rights—Working Together to Reach Our Full Potential", Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 41), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 71-90.



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