OIF Seeks Information on 2020 Censorship Incidents.
Recently, the office has noticed a rise in attempts to censor books that address racism and police brutality. LGBTQIA+ books and programs also continue to be targeted with censorship.
“Reporting challenges not only provides essential data that allows OIF to identify and track censorship trends,” said OIF Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone, “it also helps OIF to improve support for the library workers and educators who are protecting users’ right to access diverse books, displays, and programming.”
The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom (“OIF”) encourages everyone to report any and all instances of censorship and challenges to materials (including databases), programs, speakers, filtering and author visits. No matter is too insignificant. If we let instances of censorship slide by or decide to just take certain books off the shelf to avoid conflict or save time, we undermine the First Amendment and our own profession.
Election disinformation believers, censored on Twitter but welcomed on Parler, prompt society to consider the value of the unfettered freedom to spread dangerously false information.
We should consider whether tech companies are taking personalization too far, but we should also resist the urge to embrace that customization to an extent that might inhibit personal growth and evolving perspectives. And we need to continue to make sure the next generation understands the importance of looking at multiple perspectives, especially if it is going to be harder to do so organically as we absorb information.
ALA-OIF Letter to Burbank Unified School District; “But we respectfully suggest that rather than removal of these books from the curriculum, the actual need is for improved teaching and discussion of these works of literature that places their use of racial epithets in context and highlights the harms of racist actions both in the past and in current society.”
The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), is excited to announce a scholarship for the Spring 2021 seminar, Intellectual Freedom and Young Adults, offered through San Jose State University School of Information (SJSU iSchool).
The American Library Association (ALA) and Humble Bundle are teaming up to offer library supporters and advocates an opportunity to fund ALA initiatives supporting social justice and intellectual freedom, including the Spectrum Scholarship Program. The campaign will also support the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF).
Today is both the late Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday and Veteran’s Day. Vonnegut himself was both a banned author and a veteran of World War 2. His most challenged, banned, and burned book is Slaughterhouse Five. This book in particular shares his World War 2 experience. And yet it, among many other books penned by veterans, remains on the frequently banned and challenged lists. Today, read a book by a veteran — maybe Slaughterhouse Five to start.
When Kent State refused to violate the First Amendment and its policies on academic freedom, Ohio Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus threatened to cut millions of dollars of funding in retaliation, and hopes to pass legislation imposing his views on public universities.
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) is accepting nominations for the 2021 John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award. The award consists of a citation and $500.