"Guidelines on the care of sacred texts in public libraries"

October 15, 2014

Tagged with: The Network

"The UK is a diverse, cosmopolitan country with people of many faiths – and none. Public libraries are secular spaces, and, whilst providing sacred texts, books about faith and religion, and books reflecting non-religious views of the world, care needs to be taken to ensure that people’s faith (or lack thereof) is treated with respect, and that one religious/faith group is not privileged over others.

Examples have occurred where local faith groups have tried to pressure libraries into presenting their sacred texts in a particular way; the guidelines ... aim to support libraries in making decisions about how to deal with such demands, and also outline good practice in dealing with sacred texts in general ...

The guidelines were originally developed by Siobhan Ball as part of her Information Management and Preservation Masters degree, in the hopes of creating a consistently applied method for the respectful and culturally sensitive handling of sacred texts in British archives and libraries.

The guide was field-tested successfully on creating a set of rules for the care of Islamic texts in archives and libraries and has here been modified slightly specifically for libraries with an emphasis on local public institutions. Having graduated, Siobhan now operates her own information management consultancy, Ball Information Management, from Edinburgh.

She has worked with members of the CILIP Community, Diversity and Equality Group to produce this version."

Siobhan Ball, Gulshan Iqbal and John Vincent. Guidelines on the care of sacred texts in public libraries. 2014.

Published as a CILIP Blogpost in Oct 2014.