Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Banned and Challenged Newbery Books

I had the privilege of serving on the 2024 Newbery Committee with such a group of rockstars. I could not be prouder of our winner, The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers and our Honors, Eagle Drums by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson, Elf Dog and Owl Head, by M. T. Anderson, Mexikid: a Graphic Memoir by Pedro Martín, Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow, and The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri. It’s gratifying to see these books join the company of so many impactful titles. 

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Quiet Censorship

I have an ugly truth to share: there are materials in my collection that I dislike. I work in a large multi-branch public library system with centralized selection, so I have not been involved with the purchase of any of these materials. My lack of love for some of these items comes from a variety of reasons: poor writing quality, a didactic message, being super commercial. Many are innocuous fluff and aren’t hurting anyone by being available but I still see them as junk food. For the most part, these are books I probably wouldn’t put on display because they are so popular and easy to find already. But I am not opposed to their being on display. Some recent purchases, however, have caused me to pause and think about why I considered not putting these books on display. Did I want to avoid complaints? Or was there something even…

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

The Vital Role of Literature for Juvenile Offenders

Juvenile detention centers play a crucial role in the rehabilitation and development of young offenders. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is the importance of providing access to books and other reading materials for these young people. Research conducted by criminal justice scholars emphasizes the need for a correctional system that focuses on rehabilitation rather than just punishment.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

A New Toolkit for Program Challenges

In the weeks leading up to the Drag Story Hour at my former branch, I was equal parts excited and worried. I had been wanting to host a Drag Story Hour for a long time because these special storytimes encompass some of the best parts of children’s programs in libraries: having fun, encouraging creativity, and celebrating diversity through stories. And I was certain that it would be popular with the families who came to that branch. 

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Internet Censorship and Libraries

In recent years, schools and libraries have been the target of extreme censorship attacks concerning the materials they house. Children and teens are primarily affected by these attacks, as it limits what information they can freely access at any given time. The problem we face in these battles is determining who has the authority to decide what is objectionable versus what isn’t. But what happens when these attacks occur beyond the scope of reading materials and start to affect other information access points? As librarians, we must inform ourselves regarding censorship in other forms, especially concerning our youngest patrons. Censorship and the Internet: Internet censorship is one of the more underhanded forms of censorship that happen on a day-to-day basis, often without people even knowing it exists. The internet is a vast communication and information network, and industries, organizations, and people work to control access to that information through various…

ALA Annual 2023

More Impactful Programs Coming Up at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference

Amazingly, this year’s ALA Annual Conference is now mere weeks away! To build on the great recent post by the Program Coordinating Committee on what to look forward to however you are engaging, here are some recommendations from our Intellectual Freedom Committee on sessions that will be helpful to all of us in dealing with the difficult situations this challenging time presents. A Rally for the Right to Read: Uniting for Libraries & Intellectual Freedom Thursday, June 22, 6:00-9:00 pm, Hilton Chicago-Boulevard Room Join us to honor the courage and resilience of America’s librarians and their persevering work to protect the freedom to read. Beginning at 6 pm, program attendees will hear from inspiring speakers and recognize the 2023 recipients of the FTRF Roll of Honor Award, the Eli M. Oboler Award, the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award and the John Phillip Immroth Award. At 8 pm, a…