On March 6, 2017, I mailed a letter to President Donald Trump on behalf of nearly 100 ALAO members (by email and the U.S. Postal Service). The essential message of the letter is summarized in its second paragraph: “We, the undersigned members of the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO), a state organization of college and university librarians, are writing to urge you to support scientific integrity and strengthen federal policies that guard against the suppression of science.”
The letter was co-written by Joseph Straw (Marietta College), ALAO Government Relations Liaison, and myself. We are grateful that so many ALAO members co-signed the letter. Thank you. To date, I have not received a reply.
The letter was in response to a number of statements and actions from the White House that are widely seen as threatening public access to government-sponsored scientific research, especially to scientific reports and data related to climate, fossil fuels, environmental oversight, and public health. It was also a harbinger of the March for Science, held in Washington D.C. and 610 satellite sites on April 22. I was proud to march in the nation’s capitol, with my sign declaring “Science Librarians: a Force for Science.” It is important to stress that neither the letter from ALAO nor the March for Science were partisan actions. People of different political parties can readily agree that fact-based policy and legislation form a more effective basis for governmental action, and supporting sound, peer-reviewed scientific research is essential for a strong democracy.
Science librarians across the country participated in the March for Science. See their comments and a few photos, linked from a short report in the ACRL Insider.
-Alison Ricker, Procedures Manual Coordinator, Oberlin College