September 2, 2014

New books spotlight intellectual freedom challenges and triumphs for kids in time for Banned Books Week

The annual Banned Books Week, held Sept. 21−27 this year, celebrates the freedom to read. In addition to purchasing a copy of Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read, by Robert P. Doyle, to help learn more about the state of literary censorship in America, check out two new titles published by ALA Editions that spotlight both the challenges and triumphs of safeguarding intellectual freedom for young people: “Intellectual Freedom for Teens: A Practical Guide for Young Adult & School Librarians” and “Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books.”

Year after year a majority of the titles on ALA’s Banned Books list, which compiles titles threatened with censorship, are either YA books or adult books that are frequently read by teens. It’s important for YA librarians to understand the types of challenges occurring in libraries around the nation and to be ready to deal with such challenges when they occur. “Intellectual Freedom for Teens: A Practical Guide for Young Adult & School Librarians,” by Kristin Fletcher-Spear and Kelly Tyler for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is tailored specifically for these situations, providing much-needed guidance on this highly charged topic. Among the issues addressed are:

  • how to prepare yourself and your staff for potential challenges by developing a thoughtful selection policy and response plan;
  • resources for help when a challenge occurs;
  • the art of crafting a defense for a challenged book, and pointers for effectively disseminating your response through the press and social media;
  • the latest on intellectual freedom in the digital realm, including an examination of library technology.

Many things have changed since ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) was founded in 1967, but not everything: the most beloved and popular children’s books are still among the most frequent targets of censorship and outright bans. Limiting access to controversial titles such as “Captain Underpants,” “The Dirty Cowboy,” “Blubber” or “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” or leaving them out of a library’s collection altogether is not the answer to challenges. In “Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books,” Pat R. Scales gives librarians the information and guidance they need to defend challenged books with an informed response while ensuring access to young book lovers. Spotlighting dozens of “hot button” titles written for young children through teens, this book:

  • gives a profile of each book that covers its plot, characters, published reviews, awards and prizes and author resources;
  • recounts past challenges and how they were faced, providing valuable lessons for handling future situations, plus a list of other books challenged for similar reasons;
  • provides discussion ideas for planning programming around banned books, whether in reading groups, classrooms or other settings;
  • includes an appendix of additional resources for librarians who find themselves enmeshed in a challenge.

Fletcher-Spear is the administrative librarian at the Foothills Branch Library in Glendale, Ariz. She is coauthor of “Library Collections for Teens: Manga and Graphic Novels” and has written for YALSA, VOYA, and Library Media Connection. Tyler is the branch manager for the Van Nuys Branch at the Los Angeles Public Library. Prior to becoming a supervisor, she worked as a youth services librarian and was a mentor and trainer for new teen librarians.

Scales is a retired middle school and high school librarian whose programs have been featured on the “Today Show” and in various professional journals. She received the ALA/Grolier Award in 1997, and has served as chair of the prestigious Newberry, Caldecott, and Wilder Award committees, and is a past president of the Association of Library Service for Children (ALSC). She has been actively involved with ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee for a number of years, is a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, serves on the Council of Advisers of the National Coalition Against Censorship, and acts as a spokesperson for First Amendment issues as they relate to children and young adults. Author of “Teaching Banned Books: Twelve Guides for Young Readers and Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your Library,” she also writes for School Library Journal, the Random House website, and Book Links magazine.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.

August 12, 2014

2014 edition of “Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read” is now available at the ALA Store Online!

2014 Edition

2014 Edition

Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read, by Robert P. Doyle, is an essential reference for all who read, write, and work with books.  This updated and expanded 2014 edition, now available at the ALA Store Online, features a new, streamlined design that will make this an essential reference you’ll return to time and again.

Librarians, educators, students, and parents along with publishers, booksellers, writers, and readers interested in the current state of literary censorship in America–especially in our libraries and schools–will find this volume indispensable. This new edition of Banned Books by noted First Amendment advocate Robert P. Doyle details incidents of book bannings from 387 BC to 2014.

Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read provides a framework for understanding censorship and the protections guaranteed to us through the First Amendment. Interpretations of the uniquely American notion of freedom of expression–and our freedom to read what we choose–are supplemented by straightforward, easily accessible information that will inspire further exploration.

Contents include:

Insight–The Challenge of Censorship

Interpretation–The First Amendment, the Freedom of Expression, and the Freedom to Read

Information–First Amendment Timeline, Court Cases,. Glossary, Bibliography, Quotations, and Action Guide

Incidents–Top Ten Challenged Books of 2013 and Banned or Challenged Books–almost 2,000 titles listed alphabetically by author plus Title, Topical, and Geographic Indices.

Read a sample of the book!

Also available at the ALA Store is this year’s Banned Books Week campaign, which features the tagline “Have You Seen Us?”
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Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books from across the United States. Use these products to help emphasize the importance of the First Amendment and the power of uncensored literature.

For more information on how you can celebrate your freedom to read, check out ala.org/bbooks and bannedbooksweek.org.

 

August 7, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, July 27 – August 2, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 27 – August 2, 2014.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Manassas [VA] case rekindles debate over penalties for ‘sexting’

Bucks County [PA] teacher whose blog made headlines is fired

Former CIA/NSA Boss Michael Hayden Admits Ed Snowden Was A Whistleblower

After CIA gets secret whistleblower email, Congress worries about more spying

3 Killed in a Facebook Blasphemy Rampage in Pakistan

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

FCC calls Verizon’s new data throttling plan a ‘disturbing’ development

Why one New Jersey school district killed its student laptop program

How the history of electricity explains municipal broadband

Duke Professors Looking To Make Legal Texts Affordable; Kicking Off With Intellectual Property Law

California’s digital divide still gaping

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

BitTorrent unveils NSA-proof online calling and messaging software

Think the Supreme Court protected your cellphone from warrantless searches? Think again.

Senators unveil bill to protect student privacy

Leahy Introduces Historic Bill To Ban NSA’s Dragnet Collection Of Americans’ Electronic Communications

Personal Privacy Is Only One of the Costs of NSA Surveillance

July 26, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, July 13 – July 19, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 13 – July 19, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

E-mails show NSA monitored destruction of Snowden data at The Guardian

Appeals Court Rejects D.C. Teacher’s Speech-Retaliation Suit

Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

After public outcry, Singapore backpedals on destruction of 2 gay-themed book titles

VA uses patient privacy to go after whistleblowers, critics say

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Keeping Track of the Open Internet Comments Submitted to the FCC

FCC swamped with last-minute comments on net neutrality

Democrats push to make the Internet a utility

Net neutrality, a Trojan horse for increased government control of the Internet 

Close The Libraries And Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

NSA: Releasing Snowden Emails Would Violate His Privacy

$20M Facebook Ad Deal Violates Privacy Laws, Parents Say

UN Human Rights Report Confirms Government Surveillance Violates Privacy Rights

ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation Join Idaho Mom’s Legal Challenge to NSA Surveillance

NSA Responds To Snowden Claim That Intercepted Nude Pics ‘Routinely’ Passed Around By Employees

 

July 15, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, July 6 – July 12, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 6 – July 12, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Board removes book [The Miseducation of Cameron Post] from summer reading list [Lewes, DE]

Woman Loses Her Job of 24 Years For Giving Very Common Pleasantry to Customers [KY]

Franken: Net neutrality is ‘First Amendment issue of our time’ 

Google tells music website to censor album covers

Is there a second NSA leaker after Snowden? 

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Google’s Growing Silence on Saving Open Internet Leaves Fight to Startups

Dear Secretary Duncan: Net Neutrality is an Education Issue

‘A Threat to Internet Freedom’

Net Neutrality Survey Finds Fast Lane Support

What Do Kansas and Nebraska Have Against Small Libraries?

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Crypto weakness in smart LED lightbulbs exposes Wi-Fi passwords

LAPD Exposes Login To Data Harvesting Software During Interview With CNN

Why Facebook is beating the FBI at facial recognition

Latest Snowden leak: NSA, FBI targeted prominent US Muslims 

Richard Clarke on the Future of Privacy: Only the Rich Will Have It

July 15, 2014

Zoia Horn, library icon, dies at 96

Zoia Horn, who was chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee in the mid-70s and who spent 20 days in jail rather than testify in a trial involving anti-Vietnam War activists, died Saturday at the age of 96. Horn’s autobiography, Zoia!, is available online via Archive.org, and includes a copious accounting of her activism.  The California Library Association’s annual intellectual freedom award is named in her honor.

“She lived what she believed,” said Barbara Jones, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom.  “She didn’t just talk about intellectual freedom and the freedom to read. She was on the front lines her whole career. She was an idol to many, many librarians.”

Library Juice has a short obituary.  And here is a great 2002 profile of her in the San Francisco Chronicle, written in the wake of the passage Patriot Act.  It’s notable that even in her last days, she asked her daughter, Catherine Marrion, to contact OIF in order to bring attention to her opposition to the 1977 ALA film The Speaker.

Marrion has indicated that there will be a memorial service in Oakland next month. We will pass along details when they become available.

July 9, 2014

OIF Director Barbara Jones Asks Cape Henlopen School Board to restore book to summer reading list

Today Barbara Jones,  director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, sent a letter to the Cape Henlopen Board of Education in Delaware protesting their decision to remove emily m. danforth’s critically acclaimed young adult novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post from its ninth grade summer reading list. The novel, about a young lesbian’s coming of age in 1990′s Montana, was on a list developed by librarians across the state as recommended for incoming high school honors and college prep students.  The letter notes that the school board apparently did not follow its own reconsideration policy in removing the book from its list.

More details about the board’s decision to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post are available from the local newspaper, the Cape Gazette: Board removes book from summer reading list, and from the Diversity in YA blog.

See also author danforth’s response to the Board’s decision.

Update: The Delaware Library Association also has written a letter to the Cape Henlopen Board of Education, asking them to reconsider the decision to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post from the summer reading list.

July 8, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, June 29 – July 5, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from June 29 – July 5, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Ads prompt libraries to put newspaper out of sight [Detroit]

On the Next Docket: How the First Amendment Applies to Social Media

Feds Ignore First Amendment, Supreme Court Precedent In Seizing Domain Of Social Network For Sex Workers

YouTube reportedly in talks with indie labels to avoid blocking videos

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

ALA encourages next step in E-rate improvements

No-IP regains control of some domains wrested by Microsoft

Edtech Startups Protest FCC Proposal for ‘Two-Tiered Internet’

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Butler warns students, staff, alums of data breach [Indianapolis]

Facebook responds to criticism of its experiment on users

New Snowden docs: NSA spies on pretty much everyone abroad

Why a government watchdog says your phone calls are private, but your e-mails are not

Why cyber-insurance will be the next big thing

June 30, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, June 22 – 28, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from June 22 – June 28, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Clinic ‘Buffer Zone’ Law

Carnegie medal under fire after ‘vile and dangerous’ Bunker Diary wins

Celebrate the Freedom to Read With CBLDF’s New Banned Books Week Handbook!

North Korea threatens war on US over Kim Jong-un movie

Filtered-down access: an uncensored look at technology and the LGBT community

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Closing the Connectivity Gap

Gay Dem: Internet can be ‘salvation’

Mayors Strongly Back Network Neutrality

New York and Chicago Libraries Loan Hot Spots like Books

Aereo Defeat Sets Up Bigger, Broader Fight for TV

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Supreme Court Says Phones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant

Why the Supreme Court May Finally Protect Your Privacy in the Cloud

U.S. NSA granted extension to collect bulk phone data

Facial recognition proposal lacks privacy protections, advocate says

When a Health Plan Knows How You Shop

June 29, 2014

Monday intellectual freedom meetings & programs @ #ALAAC14

Here’s your daily list of must-do events at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

Monday, June 30

Now Showing @ ALA: The Speaker…A Film About Freedom

When: 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N242
Who: Cinephiles, cinephobes, idealists & contrarians
Why me?: In advance of IFC’s Monday program, “Speaking about ‘The Speaker’,” we invite you to join us at a screening of the 42-minute 1977 film produced by the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The film proved highly controversial within the Association. This will be a chance for you to see it for yourself and participate in a moderated discussion. It is also available on YouTube. A pathfinder of resources on the film and attendant controversy is available atwww.ala.org/tools/speaker.

Intellectual Freedom Round Table II

When: 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N201
Who: IFRT members and the member-curious
Why me?: IFRT is the ALA member’s best avenue for getting involved in the intellectual freedom activities of the American Library Association. Find out about the committees, programs, and other projects of the Round Table and lend your two cents to the discussion of IF issues faced by librarians, our communities, and the Association.

Information Manipulation Part II: Surveillance

When: 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N243
Who: All are welcome.  (Note: we won’t take notes on who is there.) Sponsored by the Committee on Legislation
Why me?:  What does the collection and retention of bulk phone records and other personal information mean for the public and for our library users? Is personal information and Internet access being managed and manipulated by the government and/private companies? Featuring Thomas Susman, Esq., American Bar Association, Director of Government Affairs. A panel of respondents include George Christian, Executive Director of Library Connection and one of the Connecticut Four involved in the FBI/NASA challenge, Vivian R. Wynn, President of Wynn Library Consulting and Chair of the ALA Committee on Legislation and others to discuss the challenges and implications.

Speaking About “The Speaker”

When: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Where: LVCC-N253
Who: Everyone who is interested in learning more about and discussing the 1977 ALA IFC-produced film, the process by which it was made, the controversy that swirled around it, and what it means for us today and in the future.
Why me?: This is definitely the must-attend program of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. We strongly suggest you peruse the pathfinder of resources created for this program and the film.

IFC V

When: 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: LVCC-N120
Who: Members of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, liaisons, and any member interested in participating in the final meeting of this committee of Council.
Why me?: This final meeting will feature discussions about Council resolutions and revisions to the interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights. A great way to spend a late Monday afternoon in Las Vegas!

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