In May of 2015, Hood County Library in Granbury, Texas, found itself in the middle of a censorship attempt that led then-Director Courtney Kincaid to leave that library for both professional and personal reasons. Courtney shared her story with me.
Trigger warnings, initially designed to give advance notice of content potentially detrimental to those who have suffered trauma, have made their way into everyday situations and become code for ‘stuff that may be offensive or upsetting.’
As chair of the Texas Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee for 2016-2017, part of my responsibilities included planning IF-related programming for the TLA Annual Conference in San Antonio in April 2017. The committee had decided that we wanted some basic instruction on what intellectual freedom is and why it’s important in our daily library lives.
ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom released its list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2016, and as usual, the majority of books are for children and teens.
Two book challenge examples demonstrate that there is no possible way to know ahead of time what challenges will come or from whom they will come.
The latest controversy over Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, brought on by proposed legislation from Arkansas State Rep. Kim Hendren, is at an end. The bill died in committee, so Zinn — and everything by or about him — is still allowed (by state law anyway) in Arkansas public school curricula.
How does an intellectual freedom fighter deal with someone like Milo Yiannopoulos? Does the First Amendment guarantee a forum for every kind of speech?
When I started thinking on the subject of roleplaying as it pertains to intellectual freedom, my first thought was to write about the lasting stigma that roleplaying games still have today. Dungeons and Dragons is, for some folks, still misconstrued as some kind of occult initiation, and because of that, roleplaying games in general might be perceived the same way.
This was the most powerful experience I have ever had of the people’s right to assemble, of the people’s right to free speech and freedom of expression! While there was certainly some negativity, most of what we saw, heard, and experienced was positive and hopeful.