With each new week of the 2016 Presidential election, the competition has been getting more and more intense, and even the most civil candidates have begun slinging mud at each other. Riots from some candidate’s rallies have gotten ugly, with real life disputes finding their way to children’s classrooms. Even if children can’t vote, they are still being influenced by the political climate. This election is teaching one thing, hate is acceptable.
Letters to the Editor are more important than you might think. They show support for the librarians and teachers involved, they highlight the quality of the book and intellectual freedom, and most importantly they publicly show an individual’s willingness to stand up for the First Amendment and the right to read.
To whom it may concern:
This is an official protest to register a complaint against any and all Koran’s [sic], because of this books [sic] vile content, we recommend that it no longer be allowed in any Public School of Library anywhere throughout the entire United States.
For the seventh year, the Freedom to Read Foundation is offering grants to support a wide variety of engaging, provocative and fun events commemorating Banned Books Week. Applications are open for the 2016 Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund Banned Books Week event grants, sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF). Organizations are encouraged to apply for grants of $1,000 and/or $2,500 in support of activities celebrating Banned Books Week (Sept. 25–Oct. 1, 2016).
Applications for the grants will be accepted through May 15, 2016.
Last week marked the 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, the world’s largest gathering of people who develop or use assistive technology and the only one to be hosted by a college–California State University, Northridge (CSUN). It is a critical source of inspiration and information for multiple handicapping conditions, but especially for the visually impaired or blind.
Intellectual freedom bloggers share how they celebrate National Library Week.
This year, Choose Privacy Week highlights the need to respect and protect student and minors’ privacy, especially in a time when technology, mobile computing, social media, and the growing adoption of “big data” analytics pose new threats to young people’s privacy. Students in particular are increasingly subject to tracking and monitoring, as schools turn to web-based apps, on-demand delivery of personalized content, virtual forums, social media, and other interactive technologies to deliver educational content and monitor student behavior both on- and off-campus. This year’s theme, “Respect Me, Respect My Privacy” not only seeks to raise awareness of the growing threats to minors’ personal privacy, but to inspire a new regard for young people’s civil rights and personal dignity.
During National Library Week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom publishes the list of Top Ten Most Challenged Books. We collect information from two sources: newspapers and reports submitted by individuals. All challenges are compiled into a database. Reports of challenges culled from newspapers across the country are compiled in the bimonthly Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom and compiled in the Banned Books Week Resource Guide. Challenges reported to the ALA by individuals are kept confidential. The Top Ten Most Challenged Books is not a national roundup of book challenges as all challenges are not reported to the ALA. Rather, it is a snapshot of the reports received by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Our goal is not to focus on the numbers, but to educate the masses that attempts to ban books is happening within our country, and the themes that are suggested by those challenges. As citizens, librarians, parents, we all should safeguard the right to read freely and to choose for ourselves and allow others to do the same.
After compiling the list of the 2015 Top Ten Challenged Books, the staff at the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) noticed that once again, a high percentage of the titles fell into the category of “diverse content.” What do we mean by diversity?
One of the consistently controversial subjects in many cultures is sexuality and youth. To many, it invokes some disgusting subjects that I do not wish to think about, none-the-less write about. But, for teens themselves it is an important subject that they require access to truthful and honest information about. Some governments and parents feel as uncomfortable as I do about discussing these things, or may reduce the access to honest sexual education information that teens have in some ignorant desire to “protect.”