Kristin Pekoll holding a True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries edited by Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco

Your Library is Unclean!: An Interview with Kristin Pekoll

Before she worked for ALA, Kristin experienced a very public and personal challenge to books when she was the young adult librarian at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. In her current position, Kristin has the opportunity to use this very difficult experience from her past to help librarians who are facing challenges today. Here is Kristin’s story.

Blank Canvas in Old Wooden Frame

The Art of the Challenge

Challenges to books occasionally occur in academic libraries, but artwork is a more frequent target of challenges in academic libraries. I recently interviewed John Harer, an associate professor of library science at East Carolina University. In the 1990s he was working at Texas A&M when students launched a complaint about a piece of artwork that was hanging near the entrance of the library.

Dove picture made out of repeating the word peace

Why is Intellectual Freedom Important?

Intellectual freedom provides our world with innovation: new technology, cures to diseases, new ways of providing food to starving communities. Intellectual freedom enriches culture. Answering the question, “why is intellectual freedom important” is something I am continuing to explore and think about.

Looking through a set of frames up to the sky

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

I want to believe librarianship has entered a new era of working to help people understand information and define authority for themselves. I believe this is going to be an ongoing critical element of teaching and understanding information, and I believe librarians have an important role in this education and dialogue. The ACRL framework document outlines the practices that learners should have in this area. 

Picture of Jerilynn Williams by Bolton Williams

10 Years After a Challenge: An Interview with Jerilynn Williams

Former ALA President Ann Symons said it well in explaining that a materials challenge is a trip to hell, something that you wouldn’t want to wish on your worst enemy. However, I believe that facing the experience with honest communication and an understanding of the right of each person to their particular viewpoint are the keys to navigating the journey successfully.  My parents taught me to stand up for I believed in and supporting intellectual freedom and universal access are, for me, core beliefs.