public libraries

AS means we can’t be expected to guess things, including rules, by instinct, right? Hence we can’t be held accountable to obey any rule without knowing it existed. Autism too.

Which being a biological fact about us, is also a fairer approach to everyone. As a principle, it would be a great advance in democracy. It would abolish all generally-worded rules and discretionary authority.

In public libraries, it means 3 things they have to observe or else they are perpetrating discrimination against us against all the international human rights structures! Because we can’t be distinguished by sight from the NT population, it means they have to apply these things to everyone!!

  • No library can enforce on any user a rule for which there is no display telling users it exists.
  • No library can have generally-worded rules that give discretion to staff to make up more specific rules moment to moment, that have no separate existence as specific rules.
  • No library ever has the power to decide or announce “We don’t approve of…” anything.

All it needs to establish these principles, as binding on every public library throughout the EU, is a single test case where a library breaks them.

This has now been provided, by Dalgety Bay library in Fife, Scotland. After a case there, Bob Izatt, head of Fife libraries, has replied to a notice of these public rights just by a reiteration of the present system, making no reference to AS at all. He simply stated that libraries have generally-worded rules and staff discretion, and claimed staff are trained to exercise it consistently. Which achieves not a shred towards library users knowing what to expect.

He is illegally blatantly testing his chances of pretending AS doesn’t exist. This in a county that for a while has been operating a “Roving Autism Resource Library” in partnership with a local group. His bad example can be cited by name all over the EU, and in any other country where human rights challenges are possible, as proof of systematic violations of minorities unless the opposite of what he wants happens, the 3 rights listed become recognised as applying to all users in all libraries.

Maurice Frank
9 Sep 2006

Sep 28: An attempt to rejoin Fife libraries on these terms as a precedent, and to ensure they stick, initially by means of circulating a notice of the precedent to the staff of a string of Fife libraries at once, is being made. Awaiting its results, good or bad.

Oct 19: The result is, predicatably, not satisfactory to the extent of actually getting further acknowledgement of the precedent out of Fife libraries, in response to said circulation. Take everything written before Sep 28 as standing, except only that Fife libraries require further challenge to actually acknowledge on explict record that they won’t break the precedent, that has been attained still only in theory.