You've probably heard about GATS on the news lately. It's on the
news a lot of the time. People are protesting and governments are negotiating.
But what's it all about? That's something that the newscasts never seem
If you are a librarian, you may have heard that GATS is a concern for
libraries. Librarians are actually among those protesters we see on the
news! So what's going on? Why does a trade agreement have any impact
at all on libraries?
Libraries primarly function to provide service to our communities.
GATS is an agreement about trade in services and affects a
huge array of services, even services we don't normally think of as being
part of trade, including library services. The reason that
librarians are vocal in this debate is that the GATS
may have an impact on libraries that politicians haven't forseen.
The problem when one is trying to learn about GATS is that it inspires
polarized debate. One camp seems sure that GATS will destroy life as we
know it and the other says that GATS will improve our lives and cause an
age of new prosperity for all. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
This web site is intended to offer a balanced view of the debate about
GATS and to list useful resources for those interested in learning more
about this issue. This information was originally presented as a paper
so the links can be read sequentially, but of course, you might also like
to jump around and
just read the sections that appeal to you.