- ALA Annual Conference 2022

ALA 2022 Annual Conference Intellectual Freedom Round-Up

If you attended the ALA 2022 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. this past June, then you know how great it was to be back in person and how many presentations and meetings there were that focused on book challenges and threats to intellectual freedom. If you missed those sessions or if you were unable to attend, below are just a few highlights. Legislation Many states across the country are targeting intellectual freedom through legislation. Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom, reported noting three trends in legislation: 1. Targeting Librarians and Educators. This trend includes eliminating protections under the law for librarians and educators and allows suits by private citizens against them, meaning that a parent could sue a librarian for content in the library. 2. Parental Rights. This trend focuses on what legislators are calling “divisive issues” meaning content in the classroom or library that focuses…

Blogger AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Hats

Hats. I wear many of them. Literal hats of winter because in New York it gets cold. But other hats too. Teen librarian, school librarian, media literacy skills teacher, colleague, friend, relative, potential problem predictor, in-house worrier, tech-trouble-shooter, mask/face covering supplier, hand sanitizer distributor, and so many more hats. 

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Book Banning

Challenges to Critical Race Theory (CRT) being included in educational curricula from elementary schools to universities is making headlines across the United States. A troubling – and perhaps unexpected- related trend is now occurring in school and public libraries: using CRT as a reason to ban books from library collections. As so much of the world is working to move toward greater inclusivity, authors and librarians are seeing the opposite. If you’re a librarian facing a challenge to materials, you’re not alone, and you’re not on your own. While no one can predict the future, it’s certain that CRT challenges to library collections are not going away. As librarians and advocates for free access to library materials and the benefits they provide, it’s our duty to keep materials accessible to all readers.

Blogger Lucia Gonzalez

Standing Strong and Together for Children’s Rights to Access Diverse Books

Among the primary benefits of being an ALSC member have always been the opportunities to network and get involved in the work of our organizations.  However, lately, those opportunities have taken on even greater importance.  The recent rise of book challenges and censorship in communities across the country is a call to youth services librarians to come together as we stand up in defense of the freedom of children across our nation to access diverse books and information that represent the richness of humanity and against blatant attempts to erase our history and diversity.  

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Grassroots 101: How to Save Your Library from Organized Censorship

There is a dramatic surge in materials challenges at school and public libraries across the United States. What can librarians do to protect intellectual freedom? As a local activist turned elected local official, I have a few thoughts on how you can defend against book banning in the community where you live. If challenges occur at a library where you work, you must be unbiased and confer with the leadership of your institution.  It’s all about organizing: mobilizing large numbers of people.