Most librarians are aware of books that get challenged and the tools needed to protect their library against censorship, but censorship can also affect our digital content, whether it’s databases, e-books, streaming content, apps or electronic tools. Be aware of the current trend in challenges to these materials and how ALA is working with librarians and vendors to protect access to these great resources.
Peg Johnson, the library director at Santa Fe Community College, explains how she worked to change the campus’ policy on filtering content on the library’s computers.
As always, libraries try to follow the law, preserving the right of individuals to have access to constitutionally protected material. People have honest disagreements about just what that entails – including Supreme Court Justices. But librarians don’t have to apologize for standing up for the First Amendment.
This article first appeared in American Libraries in October 2002 and connects Lester Asheim’s timeless arguments and applies them to the cyber age. Asheim’s article is still cited by library science community decades later when dealing with the problems of cyber materials.