Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News 7/30/2021

“This addition to the ALA Code of Ethics supports the association’s mission to foster cultural understanding by providing library professionals with a professional framework that supports equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “On behalf of the ALA Executive Board, I would like to thank COPE, the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Advisory Committee, the ALA Committee on Diversity, and ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee for their diligence, commitment, and dedication to ensuring that library service is equitable and available to all.”

Screenshot of Vitagene Facebook ad

The Value of Private Health Information

I suspect we will see more and more options to customize medical care and health efforts based on our DNA and other medical data, and we should carefully consider the potential privacy implications of these efforts, especially when they occur outside of the sanctity of a doctor’s office and are driven by a company who may have interests beyond our health. As I like to prompt my students to think about, what is the value of this information – to me and to others? And, given that value, who can/should I share it with?

Panelists listen to William Shorter, Jr. during the “Challenges & Crises” live session for ALA annual 2021.

From Challenge to Recharge: Preparing Your Library Board to Uphold Intellectual Freedom

If your library were faced with an intellectual freedom challenge, would your board have your back? The United For Libraries President’s Program for ALA Annual Conference 2021, “Challenges & Crises: Preparing Your Board of Trustees,” delivered earned wisdom and practical tips to ensure your library board is willing and prepared to uphold intellectual freedom. Read on to learn how your library board can turn a library challenge into an opportunity for community recharge.

Intellectual Freedom Awards

The First Joint Intellectual Freedom Awards

For the first time, the Intellectual Freedom Awards were presented in a joint awards ceremony. The awards given are: Robert P. Downs Award, the Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award, the John Philip Immroth Award, and the Freedom to Read Foundation Honor Roll. Learn more about this past year’s intellectual freedom powerhouses here.

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.

Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News 7/09/2021

American Libraries spoke with Garnar and Magi, as well as several of the manual’s contributors, about the latest challenges to intellectual freedom that library workers face. First published in 1974, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Manual has become an essential reference for library workers who need dependable answers to thorny questions about book challenges, patron privacy, and policy development for their institutions.