Recently, I was able to speak to Ms. Larson regarding this situation. Her commitment to intellectual freedom and dedication to fostering an antiracist learning environment for her students is evident in her discussion of the challenge to Stamped. Not every educator is in the position to fight back against a challenge: it can be a risk to their professional reputation or even their job security. But if they’re able to do so, it always makes a difference, even if censorship prevails in that particular incident. As Ms. Larson states below: “Fight for the kids. They will know. They always know.”
Librarians express concern that 2021 Caldecott winner We Are Water Protectors is too political for children.
A quick intellectual freedom and privacy recap from ALA Midwinter Virtual.
“Library services surpass bricks and mortar, as library professionals continue to adapt and develop innovative ways to deliver library materials and services that transform lives and support lifelong learning. Whether bookmobile, outreach van, book bike, senior services, school services, library workers go above and beyond to ensure that marginalized, underserved populations and all community members have access to library services.” National Library Outreach Day on April 7, 2021
Agenda-driven books regarding COVID-19 and vaccines are appearing as top results on retail searches. Those of you who have worked library reference are most likely accustomed to patrons showing you an Amazon page on their phone asking “can you get me this book?” Performing a book search for “COVID-19” via both Amazon and Barnes and Noble shows books suggesting debunked conspiracy theories within the first ten results. Additionally, searches on OCLC WorldCat reveal that books with such misleading or debunked information wind up on the shelves of public, college, and high school libraries.
The theme for Student Press Freedom Day 2021 is Journalism Against the Odds. According to the Student Press Law Center, “in the face of phenomenal news coverage, student journalists have produced despite being faced with incredible challenges of a year consumed by not only a global pandemic but widespread racial justice protests.” Student Press Freedom Day 2021 is on Feb. 26; there are several ways to support the day
The progress made by women – and minorities – in the last 100 years clearly shows the important role speech and protest play in our country. Without those marches and those protests, would we have a female Vice President today? I suspect not.
Celebrate Freedom to Read Week February 21st to the 27th by learning more about book challenges, catching up on freedom of expression news, or curling up with your favorite banned book! This post recognizes banned author Stephenie Meyer. While critics fault Twilight for negative depictions and poor writing, I prefer to think I enjoy the series for its nuanced exploration of privacy. Escape to the mossy forests of Forks and a time before high-speed internet, smartphones, and social media to explore the privacy themes in Twilight!
Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) is a threat to constitutional rights and social justice. ALA, FTRF join ACLU and over 45 organizations to call on the Biden administration to stop the use of biometric surveillance tech.
As libraries undertake important DEI and social justice work, questions arise about complicity, censorship, privacy, and the chilling effect. Frosty Windows, Frosty Mirrors will feature expert panelists discussing their current thinking and practice on these important and challenging issues. After the panel, attendees will have the opportunity to share their perspectives with panelists in break-out room listening sessions. Seats are filling up fast – register today!