With its three distinguished leaders over the half-century, the office has transformed into a thriving resource for librarians when First Amendment rights have been trampled. And we couldn’t have done it without you. Here are a few stats that highlight the work we’re proud to continue, and the obstacles our team is determined to tackle with your support.
I recommend the book for anyone interested in the First Amendment and freedom of speech issues. The first half of the book is compelling and timeless while the last half of the book is specific to the current moment and political environment.
What is missing from much of the controversy is the real reason that NFL players are choosing to protest during the national anthem. Just as Rosa Parks’ protests were not about buses, these protests are not about the U.S. flag or the national anthem. They are, instead, about systemic racism, police misconduct, and the need for change in a country where it seems the only people free to exercise their First Amendment rights are white, male, and straight.
Article 19 of the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights] states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
This was the most powerful experience I have ever had of the people’s right to assemble, of the people’s right to free speech and freedom of expression! While there was certainly some negativity, most of what we saw, heard, and experienced was positive and hopeful.
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.
Librarians Sarah Houghton and Andy Woodworth recently launched an independent special project, Operation 451, which directly addresses several of the core principles of librarianship.
With things being said, written, and shared that fall under the First Amendment and intellectual freedom post-election, intent and context are crucial.
As this first year as a contributor to the ALA OIF blog comes to a close, I’ve asked some of my system colleagues to reflect on what Intellectual Freedom means to them, personally and professionally.
Colleges increasingly withdraw invitations to controversial speakers, raising questions of free speech, public safety and the role of education.