Archives “in defiance of fear, ignorance and intolerance”

Archivists on the Issues is a forum for archivists to discuss the issues we are facing today. Below is a post from Jeremy Brett about the shooting in Orlando.  If you have an issue you would like to write about for this blog series or a previous post that you would like to respond to, please email

We as a nation and as a people are still deeply saddened and shocked by the horrific mass shooting/hate crime in Orlando, Florida on June 12th. We are grieved at the needless deaths of so many innocents at the hands of a man whose hate and fear was, sadly, fostered by some in our politics and our media. But there is always light and there is always hope. I, for one, was heartened to see the response from our fellow information professionals at the ALA, courtesy of President Sari Feldman:

“In defiance of fear, ignorance and intolerance, the library community will continue its profound commitment to transforming communities by lending its support.”

I also very much appreciate her comments that “Librarians and library workers are community leaders, motivators and social change agents” and that “like the libraries we represent, the profession’s commitment to supporting communities, social justice, and abolishing intolerance is unwavering.”

I also am glad to hear of our own President, Dennis Meissner, calling for us to “redouble our efforts to ensure that our repositories become places of inclusion that celebrate the diversity of our society and the historical record. Let us strive to promote free and equitable access to the primary historical record that promotes understanding of the truth and that fights against ignorance and misrepresentation of the American experience.”

Jeremy Brett is the Curator of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives at Texas A&M University. He is a past Chair and current Steering Committee member of the Issues & Advocacy Roundtable.

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