Constraining Public Libraries: The World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services

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August 2006



This compelling argument for why the library community should be concerned about the effect of international trade agreements on the ability to deliver library and information services to the public begins with a rigorous yet succinct description of the relevant provisions of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The book then proceeds to discuss how it is likely to impact particular public library services and how the library community could best respond to these challenges. While there cannot be certainty when considering how GATS will ultimately impinge upon public libraries, this book pinpoints potential problem areas. By informing public libraries on the WTO and providing the foundation for effective advocacy at the domestic and international levels, this book goes a long way in ensuring that public libraries continue to play a central role in their communities for generations to come.


Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Preface Chapter 3 1. Introduction: What Has GATS Got to Do with Libraries? Chapter 4 2. The Scope of GATS Coverage Chapter 5 3. The GATS Disciplines: Classification and Commitment of Services Chapter 6 4. Do Public Libraries Operate on a Commercial Basis and Compete with Other Service Suppliers? Chapter 7 5. The Perils of Privatization: Commericialization and Privatization of Public Libraries and Library Services Chapter 8 6. Avoiding the Negative Impacts of Trade in Services Chapter 9 7. Advocacy for Public Libraries Chapter 10 8. International Trade Policy as Information Policy Part 11 Appendix A: Pertinent Sections of the GATS Agreement Part 12 Appendix B: Pertinent Sections of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) Part 13 Appendix C: The IFLA Position on the World Trade Organization (2001) Part 14 Appendix D: Canadian Library Association Letter to Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Part 15 GATS Glossary Part 16 Bibliography Part 17 Index Part 18 About the Authors


Samuel E. Trosow is Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario, holding a joint appointment with the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information & Media Studies. Kirsti Nilsen retired in June 2004 from the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at The University of Western Ontario. She continues to teach as an adjunct professor both at The University of Western Ontario and at the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto.


...detailed, carefully argued...Solid, extensively documented...timely and useful...it provides an increasingly rare and thoughtful discussion of certain aspects of library management... Library Journal, 4/15/2007 The value of this book lies in its thoroughness and enumeration of problem areas... Of interest to those working in government funded or the public sectors. Par Public Administration Review, February 2009 In this study, Trosow and Nilsen consider the potential effects of various provisions of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) on the delivery of public library services. Following a review of the WTO framework, the authors (both U. of Western Ontario) outline the general requirements of the GATS agreement and identify areas where public libraries may be susceptible to legal challenges from private service providers. They also suggest specific steps for building more effective advocacy programs for public libraries. The pertinent sections of the GATS agreement are found in the appendix. Reference and Research Book News, May 2007
EAN: 9780810852372
ISBN: 0810852373
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2006
Seitenanzahl: 261 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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