Privacy and intellectual freedom go hand in hand, once you think about it. The ability to explore new ideas and information -without fear of judgement or repercussions- directly supports the growth of intellectual freedom. As tweens and teens seek knowledge to understand themselves and their place in the world, they benefit from protections inside, and knowledge outside, the library. Here are some resources that may be useful in thinking about working with teens and tweens in your library!
As August quickly fades into September, students are heading back to the classroom, the weather begins to change, and the anticipation of pumpkin spice is in the air. For the library universe, it is also the perfect time to begin planning for Banned Books Week, scheduled to take place from September 26th through October 2nd this year. If you’ve worked in libraries for any length of time, chances are you’ve had a title challenged for something in its content that someone felt was inappropriate. Children’s literature is especially vulnerable, as parents question books that use “vulgar” language, contain sexual references, or dare to challenge the status quo of society.
The ALA Annual Conference for 2021 was held virtually from June 23-29. Incapsulated in this post a few intellectual freedom issues presented at the conference. Program Highlights “Can I wear or say that? Free speech in the workplace,” sponsored by the Office of Intellectual Freedom, included speakers, Theresa Chmarar, general counsel for the Freedom to Read Foundation; Douglas S. Zucker, Esq., partner, the Weiner Law Group LLP; and Sarah Houghton, Director of Discovery and Delivery, California Digital Library. Issues of the differences between private and publicly funded organizations with respect to employer/employee relations and what each can or cannot do were addressed. As one would expect, managers in private organizations can impose just about any dress/speech restrictions they so choose as long as the policies do not discriminate between sexes or impact religious practice. Public institutions (such as public libraries) are protected by the US Constitution but, in general, employers can…
Connecting is easier than ever: The NEW ALA Connect Maybe you’ve seen the messages from ALA leadership over the past few weeks warning us that all discussion lists and other association communications will cease to exist in their current form as of June 30, 2021. After that time, all communications between ALA and ALA divisions/committees will be handled through the new ALA Connect. And maybe these announcements have filled you with dread over the thought of having to now go to a separate place in order to stay in touch with ALA, ALA divisions, and your committees. Fear not! I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the features of the new ALA Connect: the best of which is that all communications can be sent directly to and replied directly from your email! A recent session on the features of the new ALA Connect provided useful and encouraging information, including: You…
Readers need books to help them understand points of view and experiences outside of their own. But what is a trusted, expert resource for diverse book lists? How do we get those titles into the hands of your readers? How do we make the case for diverse reading experiences with caregivers who might disagree?
Reading and intellectual freedom are inextricably linked, placing librarians at the center of all the recent discussion about what books should be actively recommended to patrons, who should or should not be given book deals, and the extent to which publishers take responsibility for false or misleading information in books they print.
Inside the toolkit, you will find practical, easy to implement tips and sample programs for incorporating intellectual freedom and Information literacy into library cornerstone programs and services, including storytimes, book clubs, outreach, and STEAM activities.
The quandary is, if patrons are not allowed to wander the shelves, or turn to their trusted librarian for top-notch recommendations, how do they find what they don’t know they are looking for?