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…
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.
If you’re like me, sketching out your schedule for sessions and events at ALA conferences is a fun part of anticipating the trip. In our virtual circumstances, we can still plan, but our options have actually expanded, with some sessions offered “on demand” rather than at a specific time. You can find a great overview of events, along with links, in the schedule at a glance. There is a tremendous line-up of speakers and sessions for Midwinter, and many are closely tied to various principles of intellectual freedom –ideas like equity, access, inclusion, and intellectual property. If these are areas of interest for you, read on! We’ve combed the schedule to spotlight some amazing IF-related events coming up next week. For starters: the Office of Intellectual Freedom will introduce the hot-off-the-press 10th Edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual in an on-demand session. Viewers get a discount on purchasing a copy. Speakers and Sessions Anti-racism Work and…
Is the delight of sharing a picture book also an opportunity to foster social and emotional growth, laying the foundation for critical thinking skills?
Incorporating intellectual freedom into outreach in a fun and engaging manner is an essential component of bringing our core values into the community, and bringing the library beyond its physical borders. Some of the tips listed below can be applied broadly to all types of outreach and communication/collaboration with outside agencies and organizations.
The ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia featured a number of meetings and sessions of relevance to those interested in intellectual freedom for children in schools and libraries. Here are some highlights for those who may have missed them, courtesy of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee.