Intellectual Freedom Heroes

Intellectual Freedom Heroes

While at ALA’s Midwinter conference, I was thrilled to hear the news that two very distinguished and prominent awards honored two very deserving and courageous freedom fighters. The Freedom to Read Foundation and Office of Intellectual Freedom proudly congratulate David Levithan on receiving the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award and Pat Scales on being the 2016 recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award.

Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News

January 14, 2016 – A free biweekly compilation of news by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom including: current book challenges in libraries and schools; articles about privacy, internet filtering and censorship; ALA activities, conferences and institutes, products, online learning opportunities, awards and grants, international exchanges; and how to get involved and make the most of what ALA offers.

Just One Day

The Great Debate: What is “Appropriate” for Public School Libraries?

We come back to the question: what is ‘appropriate’ for public school libraries or libraries in general? It is more likely that this ongoing debate will never be solved.  For as long as libraries have collected materials to share with patrons, there is inevitably someone who wants to sanction the types of materials purchased and made accessible to the public. It remains our jobs as librarians, the disseminators of information, to uphold the ideals of intellectual freedom as well as encourage libraries to cultivate written collection development policies and procedures. A well balanced collection should have appeal to each and every patron. We must encourage the act of viewing a piece as a whole and not singling out words or scenes to devalue the novel as a collective entity.

World Religions

Fear and Intellectual Freedom

Discussions of Islam are essential to many subjects; history, literature, art, political science, geography, and science would all be immensely hurt by eliding Islam. Teaching calligraphy without talking about Islam would be like teaching art history without talking about Catholicism. Teachers and scholars need to be able to teach reality, not have to bend curriculum to societal fears. Students and children need to know what is real, not what some wish was real.

We Always Have Choice

We Always Have Choice

Earlier this month, Slate published a disconcerting article titled: “ISIS Gives Us No Choice but to Consider Limits on Speech.” It was written by eminent legal scholar Eric Posner, a Yale and Harvard educated academic, who is currently employed by the University of Chicago Law School. Posner’s is an old and insinuative argument. In order to stop an enemy, you must stop people from being curious about that enemy.