As fellow librarians, educators, and supporters of intellectual freedom, I thought you might be interested to know the state of Georgia plans to close public access to the Georgia Archives effective November 1 (please see http://www2.wsav.com/news/2012/sep/13/breaking-georgia-closes-state-archives-ar-4538200/). From that point onward, people will have to make an appointment to see our state’s treasures and history, and we will be the ONLY state in the nation to limit access in this manner.
Whether you are a citizen of the state of Georgia or someone elsewhere on the globe who appreciates the value and importance of open, unfettered access to archival records, please consider these courses of action:
- Liking the Facebook group/page that my colleague Elizabeth Dill and I have started to protest these closings, to access the latest news on the issue, and to share your thoughts on this crisis.
- Signing our online petition—we already have gathered nearly 5000 signatures in 24 hours!
- Contacting our leadership of this state to share your concerns in a thoughtful, constructive, and respectful manner:
- Governor Nathan Deal
- Secretary of State Brian Kemp
- Georgia State Senate
- Georgia House of Representatives
- Georgia’s Members of Congress
A heartfelt thank you to EVERYONE near and far who has helped support open, unlimited, public access to the Georgia Archives. The outpouring of support from so many organizations and individuals for this cause, one that has larger implications beyond the state of Georgia, has truly been humbling and inspiring. On behalf of my home state and its citizens, thank you for your consideration of support, and please feel free to share widely with family and friends.
Buffy J. Hamilton, Ed.S.