This year’s Banned Books Week is September 23–29. 416 Number of books banned or challenged in 2017, according to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). 100,000 Number of copies that Angie Thomas’s young adult novel, The Hate U Give, printed in its first month. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards honoree, about … Continue reading By the Numbers: Banned Books Week
But while queens have proven their ability to turn the party with fantastic fashions and tales of individuality and acceptance, pockets of resistance remain. Some programs held in libraries still draw protests, as organized opposition groups insist that these storytimes aren’t appropriate for children. Lafayette (La.) Public Library (LPL) is currently facing protests of a … Continue reading Drag Storytimes Bring Fierceness—and Fierce Opposition
It’s an example of learning analytics, the use of data to understand and optimize learning and learning environments. The general concept isn’t new—the university’s announcement noted that student retention has been studied for more than 30 years—but the amount of data that is easy to generate with card swipes has exploded in recent years. And … Continue reading Data Collection and Privacy
The incident and the recent efforts by the Texas-based nonprofit Defense Distributed to publish blueprints for manufacturing 3D-printed guns has libraries across the country working to establish policies to block individuals from printing the weapons. On July 31, US District Court Judge Robert Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order to block Defense Distributed from publishing … Continue reading A Patron Wants to Print a Gun: Now What?
American Libraries asked Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and an attorney by training, to reflect on Kennedy’s rulings and impact. “Kennedy was certainly a free speech advocate,” says Caldwell-Stone. She points to United States v. American Library Assn., the 2003 case in which the court ruled … Continue reading Kennedy’s Retirement and Library Issues
“Recent updates to Meeting Rooms: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights does not establish any new right to conduct hate speech in libraries. ALA does not endorse hate groups and does not seek to normalize hate speech,” said LaRue. “The interpretation reflects the current legal climate libraries face when providing the public with … Continue reading OIF Responds to Library Bill of Rights Meeting Room Amendment
Long before the session was due to begin, every seat was full. Attendees were sitting on the floor and more were standing along the walls. Moderated by Director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom James LaRue, this panel featured Nicole Cooke from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Damaso Reyes from The News Literacy Project, Joyce Valenza … Continue reading Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed?
In 2015, we—Virginia Beach City Public Schools Library Services Coordinator and Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) Executive Board Member Kelly Miller and Virginia Library Association (VLA) Executive Director Lisa R. Varga—met at a state social function. A few months later, the Virginia General Assembly introduced legislation threatening intellectual freedom. We decided to coordinate our … Continue reading Finding Advocacy Allies
The program featured a sprawling discussion in which multiple definitions of neutrality were proposed, and various positions were argued for and against them. The rhetoric was lively and occasionally prickly on the stage, in the audience, and on social media. Are libraries neutral spaces? Have they ever been? You're not going to want to miss … Continue reading Are Libraries Neutral?
The toolkit fully revises and updates a previous workbook and now includes information for public and academic libraries in addition to school libraries. It is divided into four sections: an overview of why libraries need a selection policy; the basic components of a policy; reconsideration procedures and processes; and an appendix with a bibliography, core … Continue reading Protecting Your Pages with Policy
Saving Federal Funding Thanks to extensive grassroots efforts by ALA members, in September the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an increase of $4 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, all of which would go to the formula-based Grants to States program. The bill also included increased funding in FY2018 for a … Continue reading 2017 Year in Review
This December, OIF is celebrating 50 years of fighting for intellectual freedom: half a century of championing libraries, finding allies within the literary community, and aiding librarians in times of high anxiety. It’s an evolving role to be cherished and safeguarded. Lighting the flame At the 1965 Midwinter Meeting preconference in Washington, D.C., the Intellectual … Continue reading 50 Years of Intellectual Freedom