The UK post-Brexit
The EU Referendum has left the UK divided, and seems also to have opened the door to anger, much of which is being voiced as racism and opposition to all sorts of 'others'.
Museums, libraries, archives and cultural heritage organisations can play a major role in helping to deal with this, for example by ensuring that issues are reflected as truthfully as possible (especially where 'facts' published pre-Referendum have since proved to be flawed), and actively working to create community cohesion. Some really good US examples of this sort of work are outlined in the article, "How Libraries Are Curating Current Events, Becoming Community Debate Hubs".
Obviously, there is a mass of advice and comment being published at the moment, and this post aims to pull together some helpful pointers and commentaries.
- The Museums Association published a Briefing on Brexit (and a press release, 29 June)
- CILIP issued a Statement on the EU Referendum result, restating the profession's ethical position: "The information and library profession is built on a strong foundation of shared ethics which promote literacy, creativity, understanding and a respect for evidence. These are the values that unite us as a global community. As we look ahead to the future of the UK, these values will be more important than ever and CILIP is committed to promoting them wherever possible and defending them wherever necessary."
- The Archives and Records Association have published a post, "Keeping an eye on Brexit": "We will continue to engage with the EU and EU-related issues (such as data protection and other regulations/legislation), not least because members in our Ireland region will remain within the EU. In the UK, it is far too early to tell what impact the referendum result will have on our work but we will monitor the situation closely as negotiations begin to implement the separation of the UK later in the year."
- EBLIDA (the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations) has issued a statement of support: "We stand ready to help our British colleagues now and in future and will not give up fighting for them in Europe in relation to:
- copyright and other information law
- education, research and culture
- cross-border access to information and knowledge
- development of libraries, literacy and a reading culture
- information literacy and other skills training for citizens
- global exceptions and limitations at WIPO."
- NCVO have issued very useful guidance, Brexit: implications for the voluntary sector, and have also drawn together ideas of ways in which charities (and, by implication, all sorts of other organisations) can help ease community tensions.
- The Migrants' Rights Network has posted advice about the rights of new arrivals, certainly in the short-term.
- Aid, refugee and human rights organisations have written to The Times, and published the text, calling for "[...] a national discussion on immigration that is humane and honest, not based on fear or misinformation."
- UK LGBT Sector leaders have issued a statement calling on all politicians to stand up for a set of commitments in order to maintain a strong and resilient voice for LGBT people
- The Equality & Human Rights Commission Chair, David Isaac, has written to employers, advising them on challenging intolerance and making employees feel supported.