AASL formally dissuades school librarians from labeling items according to content and reading level.
Librarians are crucial to ensuring intellectual freedom because we build relationships with learners and we help foster curiosity and creativity through daily interaction. We get to know people. We talk with them and we become trusted colleagues, mentors, and educators, yet this element of our profession often gets left out in our marketing and advertising.
Intellectual freedom advocates have many reasons to be excited about the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries that will be released at the AASL National Conference November 9-11. School librarians champion access to information and opportunities for all learners, and it’s never been clearer than in this iteration of our professional standards.
How do educators create a society of readers? It’s not by restricting reading to an accepted range of Lexile levels or only books that have a quiz attached to them. Reading levels can be a useful tool to assist in guiding a child to the right book for them, but when those numbers become the only determining factor of what is acceptable to read, we have a problem.
In October, a parent in Issaquah, WA objected at the district school board meeting to the inclusion of ‘Mangaman’ in the high school library.
In an increasingly digital world, it is no surprise that the lines between print and online media are likewise becoming blurrier. Nearly every type of print media has a digital counterpart. As a result, the library profession’s attention and efforts to preserve resource access must move beyond protecting print materials to include digital and online materials access as well.
As we celebrate Banned Books Week and the freedom to read, we focus on Banned Websites Awareness Day and the “overly restrictive blocking of legitimate, educational websites and academically useful social networking tools in schools and school libraries.”
Being part of a public school system, Ms. Vandersande’s school adheres to the Hawaii Department of Education’s computer use policy.
Beyond that, she does not have any additional Internet policy. Part of being in a public school means that the Internet access is already filtered, and Ms. Vandersande has determined that that is enough to ensure that children are cooperating online. She is vocal about allowing students to explore the online world and build their digital literacies. As Ms. Vandersande states, “I didn’t really set any policies “in place”. Kids came in and asked to use the computers, and I said, “sure!” The asked if they were “allowed” to use Google, and I said “sure!” The asked if they could print, and I said, “sure!”
When I asked if she is concerned about monitoring what the students are doing online, she shared a funny anecdote with me.
The worst thing that has happened out of all of this freedom is that a student printed a Google image search of “sad puppies”. It wasted a lot of paper and ink, but it sure was cute!
Since October, our office has taken calls from 52 librarians seeking censorship support. 39 of those cases involve schools. OIF hosts quarterly web meetings with state IFC chairs from ALA Chapters and […]
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