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.
“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
It contained age-appropriate themes of young alienation, the emptiness of suburban culture, the clash between personal goals and patriotism, and the search for meaningful relationships—and it was just cancelled at Enfield High School.
This week I’m writing about non-library intellectual freedom advocates. Groups that can help in the fight, or even lead the fight, for intellectual freedom. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the most important civil liberties organizations around. Their motto is, “Defending Your Rights In The Digital World.” I want you to read the first paragraph from their about page and try to tell me that they are not kindred spirits!
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.
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.
by Naomi Bates School libraries today aren’t just places for study. They have evolved into a place of creativity, expression, and curiosity. Intellectual freedom is part of a library landscape and […]
Good-bye Banned Books Week of 2015. Libraries and bookstores will take down the yellow caution tape. Fahrenheit 451 and Winnie the Pooh will be returned to the shelf. New blogs […]
Call for nominations for the Gerald Hodges IF Chapter Relations Award The Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award recognizes an intellectual freedom focused organization that has developed a […]
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) announces that the Utah Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee is the recipient of the 2013 Gerald Hodges Intellectual […]