Why are we doing this?
Because the First Amendment is barely getting a passing grade.
And because we believe.
We believe in the foundational principles of the Library Bill of Rights. Of the Freedom to Read statement. In Ranganathan's 5 Laws of Library Science. In the United States Constitution and its first Amendment.
We also believe in higher education, in SUNY Potsdam, and in you, our students. We believe in the Potsdam Pledge, and in our own mission statement. And we believe that if you know more, and we can help you learn it, we will have done our jobs well.
"More than ever, higher education has an obligation to provide opportunities to help our students learn about citizenship across their classes. We must help them develop their inborn capacity for empathy and caring about the other, including (and especially) those who are different from them and who face more challenges than they do. And it requires that we not only impress upon them the importance of political action but also help them develop their skills in this realm.
We all can, and should, take up the aspects of this work that best intersect with our areas of expertise and our disciplinary learning goals for students. Empathy, social engagement, intellectual rigor — these do not constitute a partisan agenda — are the means of robust engagement." from Don’t Retreat. Teach Citizenship. By Michael B. Smith, Rebecca S. Nowacek, and Jeffrey L. Bernstein, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 19, 2017