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
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
Marguerite Avery, senior acquisitions editor at Trinity University Press in San Antonio, Texas, spoke from a publisher’s point of view. Avery eagerly joined this conversation because, “framing intellectual freedom and open access is seldom discussed over intellectual property and open access,” she explains. Avery defines intellectual freedom as “being able to seek and receive all … Continue reading Intellectual Freedom and Open Access: Working Toward a Common Goal?
The reason for her arrest: laughing during the Jan. 10 Senate confirmation hearing of now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. She was found guilty on May 3 of charges of disorderly and disruptive conduct, and obstructing and impeding passage on US Capitol grounds. “I was listening when Sen. (Richard) Shelby [R-Ala.] made the comment that he … Continue reading Former Librarian Faces Jail Time for Laugh at Sessions’s Confirmation
So when the ACLU of Illinois held its annual luncheon at the Hilton Chicago on March 17, FTRF and other staffers from the American Library Association (ALA) headquarters joined some 2,000 other like-minded individuals for its program on “Fighting for a More Perfect Union.” Although the topics addressed did not touch on libraries per se, … Continue reading Old Snake, New Skin
But in one sense, it’s already happening. In December 2015, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit digital technology rights group, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Google for Education, alleging that the company is surreptitiously collecting data about students as they use their school-owned Chromebooks and education apps—data that they’re using … Continue reading Champions of Children’s Privacy
Even though his position began January 4 and he left for the ALA Midwinter Meeting soon after, LaRue was kind enough to answer a series of questions to help introduce himself to ALA members. Coffee, tea, other? Coffee, but tea is acceptable. And as writer Joseph Campbell put it, “There is a time for Buddhist … Continue reading 11 Questions with James LaRue
We know that intellectual freedom is a core value of our profession, but it’s easy to become complacent and lose sight of the magnitude of our role in protecting patron privacy. This may stem from the fact that there is now so much that is outside of our control, but that makes our role as … Continue reading More Important Than Ever
During events on September 29 and 30 and October 1, students, library staff, and other participants took turns reading aloud from banned books, including James Joyce’s Ulysses, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. A library cart stacked with books was wrapped in yellow tape bearing the … Continue reading Columbia College Banned Books Week Read-Out
Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, says that librarians and teachers often feel frustrated by these efforts to restrict the scope of reading. “More and more, they are reaching out to our office for support because they’re feeling silenced by their administrations,” she says. “While the fear of … Continue reading Banned Books Week Roundup 2015
Banned Books Week, September 27–October 3, celebrates the idea that the freedom to read and access ideas can transform lives, but when books are banned, readers are blocked from seeing all viewpoints and perspectives. Because so many books that include racial issues and diverse characters are challenged, it is particularly important that we create public … Continue reading Don’t Take the Freedom to Read for Granted