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ALA Launches Intellectual Freedom Helpline Program – Grant Applications Open 

The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the launch of its state Intellectual Freedom Helpline program. Over the next two years, ten pilot program sites will operate a confidential reporting system that will help connect those experiencing censorship attempts with professional support, in-state peers, and referral to ALA OIF as appropriate.

National Library Week Means More Book Résumés!

To commemorate National Library Week, Unite Against Book Bans has expanded its free collection of book résumés to support librarians, educators, parents, students, and other community advocates in their efforts to keep frequently challenged books on shelves. The collection hosted at bit.ly/BookResumes has expanded by more than 50%!

ALA Releases Annual Top 10 Most Challenged Books List

It’s National Library Week, which means it’s time for the release of the annual list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2023 and the State of America’s Libraries Report, which highlights the ways libraries and library workers have taken action to address community needs with innovative and critical services, as well as the challenges brought on by censorship attempts.

The Iranian Protests Are a Reminder of the Need for Praise of Salman Rushdie

We in libraries can do nothing to ameliorate Mr. Rushdie’s physical pain. We can and should, however, proudly display and recommend his works. To support Mr. Rushdie and to celebrate his works is not to attack a religion.  It is only to excoriate, as we should, the mindless and soulless adherence to the wrong-headed, hateful, and evil interpretation of a religion promulgated by mere–and mistaken–men.

Banned Book Week Ideas for Rural Libraries

While book banning is a growing trend nationwide, the majority of successful book bans happening right now seem to be occurring in rural areas (both fringe and remote rural) as well as some suburban areas. The initiatives and toolkits presently available for all librarians are great, but they are created by urban LIS professionals and best-suited for urban and suburban audiences. The current rhetoric used in these one-size-fits-all toolkits may not be effective in rural areas. 

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Teaching Copyright and Free Expression: Help for Educators

Guest Post by David Sohn, Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens (C&C). Ideally, students learn to access, move, re-share, and re-use creative content in all kinds of ways that are legal and ethical; they also know the rules of the road for producing their own creative works. Yet teaching copyright in a way that encourages and promotes free expression can be a significant challenge. Copyright is a complicated legal subject with significant gray areas. Teachers may feel ill-equipped to cover it with their students.

Educators need a set of copyright lessons that is easy to use and that gives plenty of attention to concepts such as fair use, the public domain, and Creative Commons: accessible materials that focus on what copyright enables and permits, not just what it prohibits.

Data Privacy week

Data Privacy Week – January 24-28, 2022

This year, the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) has expanded its Data Privacy Day to a week! Data Privacy Day started in 2008 as a North American complement to Data Protection Day in Europe.
The purpose of Data Privacy Week is to help “spread awareness about online privacy and [educate] citizens on how to manage their personal information and keep it secure” and to “ [encourage] businesses to respect data and be more transparent about how they collect and use customer data.”