Intellectual Freedom and Advocacy Bootcamp

IF & Advocacy Boot Camp at TLA 2017

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.

Top of US Capitol building with US flag flying

With Freedom Comes Great Responsibility

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.

Scott Walker's Wisconsin continues to scrub its websites of climate change mentions. 2017. BoingBoing. By Corey Walker. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. . Image Cropped/Renamed CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Data Disagreement: Make it Disappear

On the EPA’s website of the Office of Science and Technology, the word ‘science’ has been removed from its mission statement. At the University Of California San Diego, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Michigan, scientists are voicing their concerns about their ability to do their jobs threatened with draconian budget cuts at the Federal level, and the specter of vanishing data sets in Federal repositories. Neither has become a reality, but awareness and action are needed on both fronts.