What is more American than protecting the first Amendment? Whether it be free speech or hate speech, differing opinions will exist in the room. In educational settings, educators are preparing students for life where there are rooms filled with all forms of conflicting ideas and practices.
We owe it to kids to talk to them about their rights and what support looks like—be it for challenged books, authors, or marginalized people—and how all of it ties into the power dynamics of their country.
Meridian School District pulls Looking for Alaska from middle school libraries; The fallout from Florida’s school censorship law; What is access without equity?
A new documentary about censorship and the cinema premiered at a recent film festival. Created by a team of film experts, activists, and archival researchers, this film includes interviews, movie clips, and narration that explores this particular aspect of history.
By: guest blogger J. M. Ellison. Intellectual freedom, at first blush, appears to be a matter of the mind. In fact, free thought and its circulation is intimately tied to bodies. We owe a debt to transgender people who have been at the front of the struggle for both intellectual freedom and bodily autonomy. The best way to repay them is to support the ongoing struggle for transgender liberation.
John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning American Author, best known for the literary classics The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and East of Eden. Born in Salinas, California, he lived to 66, passing away on December 20th, 1968 in New York City. His writings are taught in schools across the US, which have been challenged often.
Beaverton School District is creating quite a buzz but for all the wrong reasons. Parents and teachers recently received notice that the school’s superintendent decided to ban Andrew Smith’s young adult novel, Stick, from the majority of its students. Read the letter from ALA and the Oregon Library Association.
As librarians interested in intellectual freedom, we should welcome patrons who seek out something more substantial in their quest to understand these troubling events, no matter which side of the political spectrum they come to the library from. I’ve taken a few moments to compile a list of books relevant to discussions about mass shootings and the gun debate. The list includes fiction and nonfiction, and hopefully includes a spectrum of ideas and ideologies.
There must be something in-between an institutionally-coerced pledge and a removed-from-the individual committee statement. Of course, you know this is where I also say that academic librarians have a role. Like professors, we have a professional duty to encourage the development of informed opinions.
Do you ever feel that deep-down sense of comfort that comes from just knowing that you’re in a role that is right for you? For some, it might be their role as a parent; for others, it might be kicking butt and taking names at their job. For Rainbow Rowell, it’s her role as a writer. Rowell, author of several Young Adult (YA) and adult books, including the award winning novel Eleanor & Park, does not pin point one experience or time when she knew she wanted to write; she simply describes herself as having “always been a writer.”