Librarians are crucial to ensuring intellectual freedom because we build relationships with learners and we help foster curiosity and creativity through daily interaction. We get to know people. We talk with them and we become trusted colleagues, mentors, and educators, yet this element of our profession often gets left out in our marketing and advertising.
Call to action from the Iowa Library Association leads to an explosion of #librarylove from librarians, readers and authors. “If you’re a library professional in the state of Iowa, help support library staff in Orange City. Send them your support. Make sure they know you have their back. ILA and ALA are working on this with them. Write letters to the local newspaper. Support via social media as well!” – Dan Chibnall
ALA’s Midwinter Meeting is in Denver and the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be there staffing the different committee meetings and programs. Committee meetings and programs are open to any […]
In spite of her well-deserved celebrity status as a librarian, Pearl emphasizes that she is first and foremost a reader. She loves reading, writing, and recommending books to readers of all ages. With her wide ranging knowledge of the written word, she definitely does not shy away from recommending a diverse and varied list of books.
Whether you post the calendars in your office where you might pique a visitor’s interest or use them to schedule tasks with students or reference desk shifts, you are raising awareness of intellectual freedom. You are starting conversations.
As curators of collections, authorities on access, or just plain bookworms, we have an important role to play right now. If intellectual freedom is based on exploring, changing, improving through the discovery of new ideas then we have an opportunity, because of our particular skill set, to help shift the conversation.
We have an obligation to understand the inherent weaknesses of social media environments and actively educate about them. It might serve us to remember that at one point the implantation of OPACs’, or the migration of journals into databases, or the growth of digital archives as dynamic new platforms of publishing and dissemination also seemed foreign to our mission. Our profession is constantly evolving and social media has become a maelstrom.
The attacks on the press are about lockouts, manipulation and threats. Lockouts are bad for the free flow of information. Manipulation is (and always has been) a two-way street … but threats? Threats now shape our public discourse, and again, to belabor the point over and over, this is not normal.
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.
More than 500 librarians and library supporters attended Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C. on May 1-2. With the Institute of Library and Museum Services threatened for elimination with President Trump’s ‘skinny budget,’ this year’s event saw more attendees at Library Legislative Day than any previous year. This year, I was fortunate to attend as a member of the New Mexico delegation.