The Art of the Book Review

The Art of the Book Review: School Library Journal staff and reviewers discuss the review process

One of the main talking points you’ll see again and again when it comes to fighting book challenges is that you should be able to back up any purchase you make with your collection development policy. Many collection development policies cite professional review sources as one of the major ways library staff find quality materials to add to their collection. For library staff that work with youth, School Library Journal (SLJ) is a go-to professional review source. That’s why SLJ put together the webinar: From Book Submission to SLJ Star: Insight on the School Library Journal review process to explain what goes into their reviews. For this webinar Shelly Diaz, Reviews Editor for School Library Journal, is joined by Mahnaz Dar, Senior Editor, Professional Reading & Reference for SLJ, Ashley Leffel a middle school librarian and reviewer for SLJ, and Kiera Parrott, former Reviews Director for SLJ and LJ.

Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens (C&C) logo

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.

Rainbow Book Month

Pride Month and Censorship: A Resource Guide

In light of recent attacks on the rights of LGTBQIA+ individuals and an increasingly toxic political environment, it’s doubtful that these concerted efforts to censor the speech of others will fade away anytime soon. Furthermore, librarians and their professional commitment to creating learning environments free from censorship almost certainly guarantees that they will face further challenges. Thus, the intention behind this list, even if it’s not entirely successful in communicating the breadth of ALA resources, is to provide a starting point for further exploration of intellectual freedom and the ways in which we, as librarians, can better advocate not only ourselves, but our communities as well.

ALA Annual Conference 2021 logo.

Explore Intellectual Freedom in these #ALAAC21 Sessions!

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!