ALA’s 2016 Annual Conference is in Orlando, FL and the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be there staffing the different committee meetings and programs.
Committee meetings and programs are open to any attendee, and are often a good way to learn about the business of ALA and its intellectual freedom initiatives.
June 22, 2016 – What’s happening in Orlando, disinvited authors, filtering, bullying laws and much more.
“When we quietly censor books that deal with tough issues like heroin addiction or books like Alex Gino’s GEORGE, which is a wonderful story about a transgender fourth grader, we are hurting kids. Because no matter where we teach, we have students who are living these stories. When we say, “This book is inappropriate,” we’re telling those children, “Your situation…your family…your life is inappropriate.” This is harmful. It directly hurts children. And that’s not what we do.”
As librarians, we need to take a queue from social culture and use it to advance our profession by looking at what attracts people in today’s world and creating that attraction focusing on libraries. The way we share information is continuously changing. Think about how information was exchanged ten years ago….emails, online searches, Youtube. These are all still relevant sources but the way we receive information has changed, and it’s all done within the parameters of fair use by using small clips or images and transforming them into a completely new product.
Dear Round Rock ISD, You recently disinvited author Phil Bildner from speaking to your schools about children’s books that promote tolerance, compassion, empathy, and friendship. Your administrators say it was because of a comment Phil made during several presentations he gave to your students last year.
There is an interesting situation developing in Australia with potential to directly affect Australian authors, publishing, and readers. The Australian government is looking to possibly repeal the ‘parallel importation restrictions’. The PIRs are part of the country’s Copyright Act and prohibit imports by booksellers when an Australian publisher has acquired exclusive rights and publishes the title within 30 days of original overseas publication.
As authors, librarians, teachers, and parents talk about cancelled school visits, there has been a lot of speculation and very few answers. This post includes the official statement from the Round Rock Independent School District and Phil’s response to the statement with his account of the details and staff comments leading up to his disinvitation.
There’s an empathy portion of my school visit presentations. We talk about characters who are different than us. Look different. Believe different things. Dress differently. Because when we read, we develop a better understanding of the human experience. I booktalked George to fourth graders at six schools and to a combined assembly of third and fifth graders at another. I shared with the kids the book’s most basic and beautiful message. Be who you are.
Two prominent Palestinian librarians will talk about the special problems confronting Palestinian libraries, what Palestinian librarians are doing to address those problems, and what the international library community can do to help.
I wanted to take a moment to thank the people who recently stood for election to the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) board.
With the recent publication of ALA’s Top 10 Challenged Books list, we saw some recurring titles, as well as new entries. Returning to the list is, Looking for Alaska by John Green, often challenged for its offensive language, sexually explicit scenes, and claims that it is generally unsuited for the age group. Since its publication in 2005, and despite its popularity with critics and readers, plus a laundry list of accolades (i.e. Winner, 2006 Michael L. Printz Award, 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, A Kirkus Best Book of 2005, and many more), the novel continues its reign as one of the most popular banned books.