Far more than just “keepers of the printed book” (our original job description), we are now, perhaps more than ever, guardians of our teens’ emotional as well as intellectual needs. A large part of our job responsibility is to provide a safe space, a blanket of warmth and comfort, a plethora of intellectual and emotional resources to the young adults we serve.
At a Des Moines Public Schools School Board meeting last month, board members wore black armbands to honor the legacy of students’ right to free expression, including the right to peaceful political protest. The armbands were a visual link from the recent student walkouts and protests in Des Moines and around the country back to the landmark 1969 Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District Supreme Court decision that has forever tied Des Moines to the issue of students’ rights.
Librarians Sarah Houghton and Andy Woodworth recently launched an independent special project, Operation 451, which directly addresses several of the core principles of librarianship.
With the summer movie release of a frequently challenged children’s book, librarians can expect an increase in visibility and circulation of the series.
The new issue of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy, Vol. 1, No. 2-3, is now live and available to subscribers online.
In these politically charged times, librarians and educators on every point of the political spectrum are mobilizing to create and share resources to support the civil discourse essential to maintaining intellectual freedom in our schools and community.
With the Oxford Dictionaries announcing its 2016 Word of the Year “post-truth,” facts are now irrelevant and only personal response matters.
With things being said, written, and shared that fall under the First Amendment and intellectual freedom post-election, intent and context are crucial.
Natalia Sharina is the director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow. She is currently accused of disseminating extremist literature that has been banned. The official charge is “inciting ethnic hatred and humiliating human dignity.” Sharina has been taken into custody, and the offending materials were confiscated by the Russian authorities.
Colleges increasingly withdraw invitations to controversial speakers, raising questions of free speech, public safety and the role of education.