Gutless and Animal Farm removed. Protecting Teen Privacy. Filtering Library Wi-Fi. Rowling Responds to Burning Harry Potter Books. And the Riots at Berkeley
Whenever a controversy about the N-word in a work of art makes the news — as it has recently with Cherry Hill High School East’s recent debate about whether to allow the production of ‘Ragtime: The Musical’ to proceed as written — I find myself debating with pieces of my own identity. How would I respond if this controversy entered my community?
The Columbia Journalism Review recently discussed how the news media could learn a lot from librarians and the framework, and set of principles, we’ve developed for dealing with the onslaught of digital information. But the truth is that in a culture devoted to the free flow of information and free expression, we learn best when we learn from each other.
As adherents and defenders of the idea of intellectual freedom, librarians — both public and academic — are in a position of strength to shape the debates roiling through our communities … This is not about liberal or conservative; this is about demagoguery taking root. The strange case of Hans Fallada need not be repeated.
Freedom of the Press is an important part of our First Amendment Rights. Americans deserve to be well informed about their country, and journalists deserve the right to espouse their opinions about the government. As Thomas Jefferson himself once wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
Librarians are simple creatures, for the most part. We want to uphold the First Amendment, provide access to information, find the right answer to an asked question, and maybe recommend someone a good book. We are committed to education, accessibility, intellectual freedom, innovation, and maybe cardigans.
In October, a parent in Issaquah, WA objected at the district school board meeting to the inclusion of ‘Mangaman’ in the high school library.
Maria Pallante’s resignation has been pretty polarizing. Some see it as proof that the Librarian of Congress is interested in aggressively weakening copyright protections, while others see it as a possibility to finally start strengthening the public domain.
Although fake news has always existed, it has recently been thrust into the limelight for its role in the contemporary political conversation as it plays out on social media. This in turn has led for some to call for a crackdown on purveyors of fake news.
January 27, 2017- Information about government censorship and updates on the Virginia Board of Education rejection of red-flagging books and the censorship of a student’s painting in a U.S. Capitol building. It’s a double issue with lots of news, don’t miss out!