After months of debate, public protest, and letters of support from the Kansas Library Association, OIF, and ACLU of Kansas, the St. Marys City Commission voted to renew the lease for Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library for another year.
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table, as well as the Office of Intellectual Freedom, are excited for the diverse slate of programs at LibLearnX. A registration link for the conference can be found here (please consider attending!), but the programs we’re most excited for, as you can imagine, deal directly with issues of intellectual freedom.
Book challenges have been a hot topic in news and politics lately. The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board recently released a statement affirming its opposition to widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. Schools. OIF has tracked 155 unique censorship incidents between June 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021. With the high volume of challenges right now, OIF has made available a clearinghouse of resources on its Fight Censorship page.
With the increase in book challenges happening in schools and libraries around the country in recent months, it is more important than ever that challenges and other instances of censorship be reported to the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF). If you or someone you know has experienced any challenges to library or school materials, online resources (including databases), programs, speakers, displays, reading lists, and author visits in 2021, the OIF encourages everyone to report any instance of censorship they encounter.
ALA policies and statements are critical in the defense against threats to intellectual freedom. For this reason, it is crucial to understand not only the contemporary and practical resources provided by the ALA but also the historical and theoretical contexts informing current policies. The tenth edition of A History of ALA Policy on Intellectual Freedom provides an important history of ALA policy related to intellectual freedom.
The ALA Executive Board and the Boards of Directors for all of ALA’s eight divisions have released a joint statement opposing widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. schools and libraries.
An anti-racist, educational resource list was “frozen” until it could be vetted by the Central York School District board. In August 2021, the Central York High School principal sent an email to teachers, with the subject line, “Banned Resources,” and instructions to “Please see the attached list of resources that are not permitted to be utilized in the classroom.”
Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas. Keep reading for more intellectual freedom definitions from ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
OIF tracked 156 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2020. This is a complete list of book titles that were banned, challenged, or restricted during the year.
The ALA Annual Conference offers numerous opportunities to explore and celebrate intellectual freedom. This post highlights fourteen intellectual freedom-themed conference sessions, including live panel discussions and on-demand sessions, the Intellectual Freedom Awards Celebration, and business meetings. As you plan your #ALAAC21 calendar, consider adding these sessions to your schedule!