With the Supreme Court apparently set to overturn Roe v. Wade, patrons may turn to libraries for help seeking information about reproductive health options in private. The ethics of our profession mandate that we do so. We can help patrons by teaching them how to protect their digital privacy on their own devices and ensuring our public computers employ the strongest, most up-to-date protections.
The book-banning controversy around Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl isn’t an intellectual freedom issue, but one of legacy and privacy. As we make decisions about what materials to include in which lessons and which libraries, it’s important to remember and honor the author’s wishes.
Authors speak out on how book challenges have affected them and how to respond. Their advice is to take back the narrative from challengers to center the conversation on works’ benefits and insist that challengers own up to ulterior motives.
As big publishers increasingly become data brokers, libraries must take extra care to protect our patrons and researchers from surveillance that threatens academic freedom.
bell hooks’ writing about teaching has some pertinent lessons for today’s book challenges and proposed laws that presume students should avoid discussions of race and sexuality as much as possible. hooks shows us how this thinking is harmful and how we can help students benefit by embracing experiences of diversity.
The General Index is a powerful tool that opens up the scholarly record to analysis and criticism. To find and address inequity in the scholarly record, we should empower students to feel comfortable using data – to make the most of tools like the General Index, and to collect data that fills in the gaps.