We are working in institutions that rightly center both access and privacy, and we may, at some point, be called on to actually, personally defend one or both. Make sure you know the laws in your area, know your rights, and come up with some plans for how you would handle any tricky run ins like the ones above. We have an obligation not just to the profession, but to our patrons to make sure that their rights are infringed upon while in the library.
A recent Pew poll indicates that a majority of Americans not only realize that they are often surrounded by misinformation, but also that the library can help them wade through it all.
I Am Jazz, This Day in June and The Liberation of Gabriel King
In the twenty years since Harry Potter first arrived on the publishing scene, J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard series has faced more than its share of attempts to see the books limited, banned or even burned.
During Banned Books Week, OIF is hosting a Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament and your library is invited to partner with us! Among the many benefits, partner libraries receive a digital tool kit and are entered into a drawing for intellectual freedom prizes.
One of the wonderful things about librarians is that they are driven to improve their communities. And one of the wonderful side effects of that is it also ends up improving the librarians as individuals and professionals as we adopt more and more of the principles, good habits, and thought processes that get encouraged to the library’s users.
If we are truly standing for intellectual freedom, which includes the freedom to read, we must also extend our efforts to people in prison. While outrage on behalf of censorship in schools or public libraries is easier in many ways, if we ignore this issue in Texas prisons, we are absolutely neglecting the over 2 million Americans imprisoned nationwide.
The House Un-American Activities Committee turned 79 in May. While it may be uncommon to acknowledge anniversaries on the 9th year instead of the 10th, and HUAC itself ceased operating in any way in 1975, given the current climate, it feels relevant again.
Recently in The American Conservative, long-time conservative writer and pundit Rod Dreher wrote about ‘Queering the Public Library.’ Dreher, a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, complained about the materials and programming offered by the Free Library of Philadelphia. At issue were those books and programs related to library’s Pride Month Celebration, including ‘information on bullying, safety, and coming out,’ ‘biographies of important LGBTQIA+ figures in the community,’ and two programs: a singer/songwriter celebrating diversity and a drag show.
We may read about challenges and censorship in the news but when the story no longer makes headlines, the librarians are still doing their jobs. Ten years later, Ms. Barnett still advocates for access to all resources.