Katie Chamberlain Kritikos: The impetus for this talkback was the controversy surrounding the publication in January of this year of a children’s book called A Birthday Cake for George Washington. Because critics instantly condemned the book for its depiction of smiling slaves, publisher Scholastic Press withdrew the book and halted its distribution.
This withdrawal encapsulates the shifting social context of intellectual freedom in the United States. Traditionally, free speech advocates decry any attempt to suppress expression. A growing emphasis on social justice creates tension between the foundation and the future of intellectual freedom. This post considers the recent controversies over children’s books, trigger warnings, and free speech online to explore this crossroads of information policy.
Judith Platt: Let me begin by saying that, not surprisingly I’m pretty close to a free speech absolutist. I believe our First Amendment and what it represents and encompasses is the basis of every other human and civil right. I do not believe we can ever hope for social justice in the absence of unfettered free speech.
For those of us in the Intellectual Freedom community, it’s easy to take the rattle of pitchforks at the gate as broad popular sentiment. But the truth is, the data prove, most Americans actually believe in, actually value, free speech. They just tend not to be so noisy about it.
By Dustin Fife I love when news organizations reach out to librarians. A local news agency reached out to me today to ask about internet filtering and some possible legislation […]
“If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said.”–Neil Gaiman
Privacy/Technology NYTimes Op-Ed: Internet Access Is Not a Human Right No Warrant Needed for GPS Monitoring, Judge Rules How the Feds Are Tracking Your Kid Related: Data-Crazy Department of Education […]
Conable Scholarship recipient Aubrey Madler has been blogging her thoughts about the ALA Annual Conference throughout the week. This is the final installment. I absolutely loved Monday afternoon’s session, Blasphemy!: […]
Conable Scholarship recipient Aubrey Madler will be blogging her thoughts about the ALA Annual Conference throughout the week. This is the third installment. Several days in and I have exhausted […]
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Christian legal organization, has initiated a letter-writing campaign to libraries and schools around the country. The campaign targets libraries with meeting room policies that […]
Today, the Supreme Court refused to review the July 2008 appellate court decision that ruled the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) unconstitutional. The law would have barred publication of a […]