Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Accentuate the Positive 

These days book challenges and attacks on intellectual freedom seem to be a constant part of working in the world of libraries. It can be draining and downright disheartening to see what is happening to our colleagues, collections and creators. Encountering misinformed vitriol is taking its toll on our profession. 

These threats against intellectual freedom are very real and the tactics being used to enforce censorship are alarming. During the barrage of bad news, it’s easy to miss the glimmers of good. It’s difficult to remember that there really are people who are grateful for our work and thankful for the resources and services libraries provide. While it is important to avoid succumbing to toxic positivity, seeking out the wins can offer much needed energy and clarity.

Wins such as the Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned initiative and a whole community working together to support librarians are excellent examples. School Library Journal recently gathered an abundance of censorship resources for those in need. And to get a little meta, the ALSC Blog is a daily reminder of dedicated professionals committed to intellectual freedom! One surefire way to lift my spirits is viewing the Youth Media Awards. I basically become a puddle of optimism and joy watching as the culmination of so much hard work is celebrated.

How do you accentuate the positive? Where do you find the good? What have you seen in your community or beyond that encourages you? 

Today’s blog post was written by Caitlin Tormey, Librarian at the Central Library of the Sacramento Public Library System, on behalf of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee. She can be reached at

This post addresses the core competency of VI. Administrative and Management Skills.

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