How do you sneak complicated and seemingly unrelated intellectual freedom concepts into your youth book clubs?
Raising awareness of intellectual freedom and information literacy is important, and not just during Banned Books Week. The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee is launching a series of blog posts with practical tips and samples of programming that incorporates these topics in a fun and engaging manner.
Whether you are a first-time attendee or someone who regularly attends the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, we are confident you will find a session or two centered on Intellectual Freedom to round out your conference experience. Here are a few of our picks:
Hey, ALSC members! This post is for both the ALA Annual-going and the wish-they-were-going. First, the going: I know that there will be a lot happening at ALA Annual, but here’s an opportunity to celebrate that you won’t want to miss – The 50th Anniversary Celebration of The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) will be held Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel, 999 9th St NW, Grand Ballroom North. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available. And, author Colson Whitehead is the keynote speaker! Register now! Read on to find out about other ways to support FTRF.
In 2017, a young mother named Michaela Jaros was in the West Chicago (Illinois) Public Library when her three-year-old daughter pulled a picture book from the shelves. The book was This Day in June, by Gayle E. Pitman, a colorfully illustrated poem depicting a Gay Pride parade. SLJ called This Day in June “a great addition to a school or personal library to add diversity in a responsible manner without contributing to stereotypes about LGBT people.” Ms. Jaros did not share SLJ’s opinion, and immediately brought a challenge to the library.
Banned Books Week, our annual celebration of our right to read, think and speak as we wish, has been around since 1982. Every September, we put up displays of books that have been banned or challenged, and remind our patrons that they have the Constitutionally guaranteed right to read them. It’s a great idea, and a noble effort. But is it enough? Let’s take a moment to think about what access to ideas and information means in the age of advanced technology, social media and rampant misinformation.
Librarians flocked to Seattle late last month, and there was plenty to talk about for those interested in intellectual freedom for children. Here are some of the highlights from meetings of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee, ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, and the Freedom to Read Foundation.
Drag Queen Story Hour is a gift to the ongoing conversation about the limits of freedom of expression. If you aren’t familiar with Drag Queen Story Hour, you might be one of the very few people who hasn’t been talking about it. No worries, you can remedy that by heading over to their website. DQSH was created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions in San Francisco. They then partnered with the San Francisco Public Library and later the Brooklyn Public Library, and as the website says, it is “just what it sounds like, drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores.” There are many aspects of Drag Queen Story Hour that can be praised and celebrated: the inclusion, encouraging children to be themselves, and best of all, fun! Since I am writing this blog as a member of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee, I am going to focus…