Digital Collections are Not Immune to Book Challenges
Providers of e-content such as Overdrive and Epic are no longer immune to book challenges – and in some counties, access is being cut off entirely.
Board of Education v. Pico: Forty years of First Amendment Legacy
On June 25, 1982, the Supreme Court announced their decision regarding the authority of school boards to censor materials in school libraries in Board of Education v. Pico. Now, on the 40th anniversary of their landmark decision, we are seeing an unprecedented wave of challenges. What happened with the Pico decision? And will it help us now?
New Infrastructure Bill Seeks to Bridge Digital Divide
In November of 2021, President Biden signed a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill into law. A significant portion of the bill is allocated for upgrading access to broadband speed internet nationwide. This unprecedented amount of funding is set to be the largest investment into telecommunications by the public in the history of the country: what does it mean and what will it do?
How Your Library Can Support Comprehensive Sex Education (and Fight Censorship)
There is a long history in the U.S. of controlling, suppressing, and censoring information about sex, even if the information is meant to educate, not arouse. The Comstock Act of 1873 made it a criminal offense to, “send ‘obscene, lewd or lascivious,’ ‘immoral,’ or ‘indecent’ publications through the mail. Attempts to restricted sex education materials, under the guise of protecting children form obscene and inappropriate materials, are continuing to happen today in the form of challenges in K-12 schools and public libraries. A recent example comes from Gillette, Wyoming where Hugh and Susan Bennett filed a complaint with the county sheriff’s office over the inclusion of five books in the local library’s collection. In this post are some ways that you and your library can support quality sex education for young people in your community.
Why Have Libraries Gone Fine-free The Past Few Years?
While having a library card typically means borrowing materials free of cost, many of us were made aware young that we would have to pay a fine if we missed the due date. Many libraries across the United States have implemented a fine-free borrowing structure, which encourages more people to utilize the library’s resources.
Get Active: New IFRT Chair Rhonda Evans Shares Her Plans, Priorities, and Passion
Rhonda Evans rose from ALA Emerging Leader to Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in just one year – and shows no signs of slowing down. She brings expertise, energy, and encouragement to her new IFRT leadership role, and invites all library workers to get involved in intellectual freedom issues. Keep reading to learn about Evans’s journey, perspectives on intellectual freedom, and priorities as IFRT Chair for 2021-22.
When Information Disappears
Discussion of the future of libraries so often focuses on subscription access and inviting study spaces or makerspaces, but the problem of digital preservation looms in the background. Who should preserve digital content? Which digital content should be preserved? By whom? What happens if this information is not preserved?
ARPA Pulls Through for Library Funding and Broadband Assistance
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) featured stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and funds COVID-19 vaccines. It also provides $200 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In addition to supporting the IMLS, ARPA also included additional provisions for broadband assistance, such as funds to be appropriated towards schools and libraries to support remote learning.
Build America’s Libraries
The Build America’s Libraries Act seeks to provide more equitable access for all and calls for funding to be prioritized to “underserved and distressed communities, low-income and rural areas, and people with disabilities and vulnerable library users including children and seniors”.
Updated! Access to Digital Resources and Services Q&A
On November 16th, members of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee voted and approved the document “Access to Digital Resources and Services Q&A.”