September 7, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, August 31 – September 6, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from August 31 – September 6, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Incarcerated For Writing Science Fiction [Dorchester County, MD]

Is it time to end media blackouts?

The Long Tail of the Arab Digital Spring

Texas Religious Leaders Try To Get Public Libraries To Ban Vampire Books For Them

Should Libraries Stock Anti-Gay Books?

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

How McDonald’s and Corporate America are Bringing Internet Access to Rural America

With wireless competition heating up, time to thank the FCC

Librarians Are A Luxury Chicago Public Schools Can’t Afford [Audio]

Broadband and the future of learning

Big tech companies plan “Internet Slowdown” to fight for net neutrality

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Teens Are Waging a Privacy War on the Internet — Why Marketers Should Listen

Celebrity hacks: How to protect yourself in the cloud

Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls

First US appeals court hears argument to shut down NSA database

Appeals Court Will Reconsider Ruling on Cellphone Tracking

 

September 3, 2014

You’re invited to a free webinar: Regional Issues for Banned Books in 2014

Cross-posted to SAGE Connection Blog

Wednesday, September 24, 9am PT/12pm ET

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In 2013, there were 307 reported requests for books to be removed from America’s libraries, potentially putting those volumes out of reach of students, readers, and learners of all types. While every corner of the map faces unique issues related to library censorship, these issues also catalyze passionate freedom-to-read advocates dedicated to getting the books back on library shelves. In this one-hour webinar, we will “travel” from London, to South Carolina, to Texas, to California, to talk with three activists about the problems they face and their efforts to un-ban books as well as Congresswoman Linda Sanchez about why their efforts are so important.

  • London, UK: Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, will start us off by discussing issues faced outside of the U.S. and how Index chooses to respond.
  • Charleston, South Carolina: We will then travel to Charleston — where the graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel has been a flashpoint in a university funding controversy — to hear from Shelia Harrell-Roye, a committee member from Charleston Friends of the Library. With the 2014 Banned Books Week focus on graphic novels, Harrell-Roye will discuss what her group has been doing to support this critically acclaimed book.
  • Houston, Texas: Moving westward, we will travel to Houston to hear from Tony Diaz, author, radio host, and leader of El Librotraficante. Diaz is a champion for banned books and for ethnic studies textbooks in both Arizona and Texas.

This banned books journey will end in California where Congresswoman Linda Sánchez of the CA 38th District, will offer some closing remarks about why the freedom to read is so important for our nation’s future. Afterward, our very own Ed McBride will wrap up the conversation from Thousand Oaks, CA.

register-now-buttonRegistration is free, but spaces are limited.

Planning to attend? Let your social space know about this important event using #FreetoRead14.

September 2, 2014

New books spotlight intellectual freedom challenges and triumphs for kids in time for Banned Books Week

The annual Banned Books Week, held Sept. 21−27 this year, celebrates the freedom to read. In addition to purchasing a copy of Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read, by Robert P. Doyle, to help learn more about the state of literary censorship in America, check out two new titles published by ALA Editions that spotlight both the challenges and triumphs of safeguarding intellectual freedom for young people: “Intellectual Freedom for Teens: A Practical Guide for Young Adult & School Librarians” and “Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books.”

Year after year a majority of the titles on ALA’s Banned Books list, which compiles titles threatened with censorship, are either YA books or adult books that are frequently read by teens. It’s important for YA librarians to understand the types of challenges occurring in libraries around the nation and to be ready to deal with such challenges when they occur. “Intellectual Freedom for Teens: A Practical Guide for Young Adult & School Librarians,” by Kristin Fletcher-Spear and Kelly Tyler for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is tailored specifically for these situations, providing much-needed guidance on this highly charged topic. Among the issues addressed are:

  • how to prepare yourself and your staff for potential challenges by developing a thoughtful selection policy and response plan;
  • resources for help when a challenge occurs;
  • the art of crafting a defense for a challenged book, and pointers for effectively disseminating your response through the press and social media;
  • the latest on intellectual freedom in the digital realm, including an examination of library technology.

Many things have changed since ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) was founded in 1967, but not everything: the most beloved and popular children’s books are still among the most frequent targets of censorship and outright bans. Limiting access to controversial titles such as “Captain Underpants,” “The Dirty Cowboy,” “Blubber” or “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” or leaving them out of a library’s collection altogether is not the answer to challenges. In “Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books,” Pat R. Scales gives librarians the information and guidance they need to defend challenged books with an informed response while ensuring access to young book lovers. Spotlighting dozens of “hot button” titles written for young children through teens, this book:

  • gives a profile of each book that covers its plot, characters, published reviews, awards and prizes and author resources;
  • recounts past challenges and how they were faced, providing valuable lessons for handling future situations, plus a list of other books challenged for similar reasons;
  • provides discussion ideas for planning programming around banned books, whether in reading groups, classrooms or other settings;
  • includes an appendix of additional resources for librarians who find themselves enmeshed in a challenge.

Fletcher-Spear is the administrative librarian at the Foothills Branch Library in Glendale, Ariz. She is coauthor of “Library Collections for Teens: Manga and Graphic Novels” and has written for YALSA, VOYA, and Library Media Connection. Tyler is the branch manager for the Van Nuys Branch at the Los Angeles Public Library. Prior to becoming a supervisor, she worked as a youth services librarian and was a mentor and trainer for new teen librarians.

Scales is a retired middle school and high school librarian whose programs have been featured on the “Today Show” and in various professional journals. She received the ALA/Grolier Award in 1997, and has served as chair of the prestigious Newberry, Caldecott, and Wilder Award committees, and is a past president of the Association of Library Service for Children (ALSC). She has been actively involved with ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee for a number of years, is a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, serves on the Council of Advisers of the National Coalition Against Censorship, and acts as a spokesperson for First Amendment issues as they relate to children and young adults. Author of “Teaching Banned Books: Twelve Guides for Young Readers and Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your Library,” she also writes for School Library Journal, the Random House website, and Book Links magazine.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.

August 12, 2014

2014 edition of “Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read” is now available at the ALA Store Online!

2014 Edition

2014 Edition

Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read, by Robert P. Doyle, is an essential reference for all who read, write, and work with books.  This updated and expanded 2014 edition, now available at the ALA Store Online, features a new, streamlined design that will make this an essential reference you’ll return to time and again.

Librarians, educators, students, and parents along with publishers, booksellers, writers, and readers interested in the current state of literary censorship in America–especially in our libraries and schools–will find this volume indispensable. This new edition of Banned Books by noted First Amendment advocate Robert P. Doyle details incidents of book bannings from 387 BC to 2014.

Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read provides a framework for understanding censorship and the protections guaranteed to us through the First Amendment. Interpretations of the uniquely American notion of freedom of expression–and our freedom to read what we choose–are supplemented by straightforward, easily accessible information that will inspire further exploration.

Contents include:

Insight–The Challenge of Censorship

Interpretation–The First Amendment, the Freedom of Expression, and the Freedom to Read

Information–First Amendment Timeline, Court Cases,. Glossary, Bibliography, Quotations, and Action Guide

Incidents–Top Ten Challenged Books of 2013 and Banned or Challenged Books–almost 2,000 titles listed alphabetically by author plus Title, Topical, and Geographic Indices.

Read a sample of the book!

Also available at the ALA Store is this year’s Banned Books Week campaign, which features the tagline “Have You Seen Us?”
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Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books from across the United States. Use these products to help emphasize the importance of the First Amendment and the power of uncensored literature.

For more information on how you can celebrate your freedom to read, check out ala.org/bbooks and bannedbooksweek.org.

 

August 7, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, July 27 – August 2, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 27 – August 2, 2014.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Manassas [VA] case rekindles debate over penalties for ‘sexting’

Bucks County [PA] teacher whose blog made headlines is fired

Former CIA/NSA Boss Michael Hayden Admits Ed Snowden Was A Whistleblower

After CIA gets secret whistleblower email, Congress worries about more spying

3 Killed in a Facebook Blasphemy Rampage in Pakistan

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

FCC calls Verizon’s new data throttling plan a ‘disturbing’ development

Why one New Jersey school district killed its student laptop program

How the history of electricity explains municipal broadband

Duke Professors Looking To Make Legal Texts Affordable; Kicking Off With Intellectual Property Law

California’s digital divide still gaping

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

BitTorrent unveils NSA-proof online calling and messaging software

Think the Supreme Court protected your cellphone from warrantless searches? Think again.

Senators unveil bill to protect student privacy

Leahy Introduces Historic Bill To Ban NSA’s Dragnet Collection Of Americans’ Electronic Communications

Personal Privacy Is Only One of the Costs of NSA Surveillance

July 26, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, July 13 – July 19, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 13 – July 19, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

E-mails show NSA monitored destruction of Snowden data at The Guardian

Appeals Court Rejects D.C. Teacher’s Speech-Retaliation Suit

Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

After public outcry, Singapore backpedals on destruction of 2 gay-themed book titles

VA uses patient privacy to go after whistleblowers, critics say

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Keeping Track of the Open Internet Comments Submitted to the FCC

FCC swamped with last-minute comments on net neutrality

Democrats push to make the Internet a utility

Net neutrality, a Trojan horse for increased government control of the Internet 

Close The Libraries And Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

NSA: Releasing Snowden Emails Would Violate His Privacy

$20M Facebook Ad Deal Violates Privacy Laws, Parents Say

UN Human Rights Report Confirms Government Surveillance Violates Privacy Rights

ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation Join Idaho Mom’s Legal Challenge to NSA Surveillance

NSA Responds To Snowden Claim That Intercepted Nude Pics ‘Routinely’ Passed Around By Employees

 

July 15, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, July 6 – July 12, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 6 – July 12, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Board removes book [The Miseducation of Cameron Post] from summer reading list [Lewes, DE]

Woman Loses Her Job of 24 Years For Giving Very Common Pleasantry to Customers [KY]

Franken: Net neutrality is ‘First Amendment issue of our time’ 

Google tells music website to censor album covers

Is there a second NSA leaker after Snowden? 

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Google’s Growing Silence on Saving Open Internet Leaves Fight to Startups

Dear Secretary Duncan: Net Neutrality is an Education Issue

‘A Threat to Internet Freedom’

Net Neutrality Survey Finds Fast Lane Support

What Do Kansas and Nebraska Have Against Small Libraries?

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Crypto weakness in smart LED lightbulbs exposes Wi-Fi passwords

LAPD Exposes Login To Data Harvesting Software During Interview With CNN

Why Facebook is beating the FBI at facial recognition

Latest Snowden leak: NSA, FBI targeted prominent US Muslims 

Richard Clarke on the Future of Privacy: Only the Rich Will Have It

July 15, 2014

Zoia Horn, library icon, dies at 96

Zoia Horn, who was chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee in the mid-70s and who spent 20 days in jail rather than testify in a trial involving anti-Vietnam War activists, died Saturday at the age of 96. Horn’s autobiography, Zoia!, is available online via Archive.org, and includes a copious accounting of her activism.  The California Library Association’s annual intellectual freedom award is named in her honor.

“She lived what she believed,” said Barbara Jones, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom.  “She didn’t just talk about intellectual freedom and the freedom to read. She was on the front lines her whole career. She was an idol to many, many librarians.”

Library Juice has a short obituary.  And here is a great 2002 profile of her in the San Francisco Chronicle, written in the wake of the passage Patriot Act.  It’s notable that even in her last days, she asked her daughter, Catherine Marrion, to contact OIF in order to bring attention to her opposition to the 1977 ALA film The Speaker.

Marrion has indicated that there will be a memorial service in Oakland next month. We will pass along details when they become available.

July 9, 2014

OIF Director Barbara Jones Asks Cape Henlopen School Board to restore book to summer reading list

Today Barbara Jones,  director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, sent a letter to the Cape Henlopen Board of Education in Delaware protesting their decision to remove emily m. danforth’s critically acclaimed young adult novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post from its ninth grade summer reading list. The novel, about a young lesbian’s coming of age in 1990′s Montana, was on a list developed by librarians across the state as recommended for incoming high school honors and college prep students.  The letter notes that the school board apparently did not follow its own reconsideration policy in removing the book from its list.

More details about the board’s decision to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post are available from the local newspaper, the Cape Gazette: Board removes book from summer reading list, and from the Diversity in YA blog.

See also author danforth’s response to the Board’s decision.

Update: The Delaware Library Association also has written a letter to the Cape Henlopen Board of Education, asking them to reconsider the decision to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post from the summer reading list.

July 8, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, June 29 – July 5, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from June 29 – July 5, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Ads prompt libraries to put newspaper out of sight [Detroit]

On the Next Docket: How the First Amendment Applies to Social Media

Feds Ignore First Amendment, Supreme Court Precedent In Seizing Domain Of Social Network For Sex Workers

YouTube reportedly in talks with indie labels to avoid blocking videos

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

ALA encourages next step in E-rate improvements

No-IP regains control of some domains wrested by Microsoft

Edtech Startups Protest FCC Proposal for ‘Two-Tiered Internet’

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Butler warns students, staff, alums of data breach [Indianapolis]

Facebook responds to criticism of its experiment on users

New Snowden docs: NSA spies on pretty much everyone abroad

Why a government watchdog says your phone calls are private, but your e-mails are not

Why cyber-insurance will be the next big thing

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