A ban seems a bit like using a meat cleaver where a scalpel might be more appropriate. I’m also troubled by the potential message a TikTok ban sends; we want to encourage China to be more protective of and open to free speech, especially in light of the troubling shift toward censorship in Hong Kong. Can we really do that if we are banning their apps? By banning their apps, are we taking steps in that same direction?
Harper’s Magazine recently ran an open letter calling for the reestablishment of open debate in this culture war being fought on the front lines of social media. It was refreshing to learn of a written rebuttal to this open letter, but the cause would benefit more if you didn’t read it at all.
The most cited reason for challenging library materials and services is because of LGBTQIA+ content. In the free webinar, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis and banned illustrator Stevie Lewis (Prince & Knight) will be joined by censorship experts (OIF Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone, associate professor Shannon Oltmann) and librarians who have defended LGBTQIA+ titles (Stephanie Beverage, Tom Taylor) for a can’t-miss conversation that explores this censorship issue.
The free webinar “Banned Books Uncensored: Health, Sex & Growing Up!” on Thursday will explore why these topics are challenged and ways to defend these titles.
By: IFC Chair Julia Warga. The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee formed the Facial Recognition Working Group in order to better understand the issues relating to this evolving technology and how it would impact the privacy of library users. We believe the work is urgent given that there are libraries and educational institutions who are beginning to adopt facial recognition software as a means of identifying authorized users and students.
The Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network has developed a free massive open online course (MOOC) on academic freedom titled Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters.
Over the last several years, the state of academic freedom around the world has ushered renewed scrutiny. Yet how often do we consider how remarkable it is to engage in dialogue and debate about the key concept that protects the very space that allows us to do so?
On Monday, the American Library Association released the Top 11 Most Challenged Books of 2018 in the State of America’s Libraries Report. The reasons for challenging the titles ranged from LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, to “anti-cop” and profanity. Here are some responses from authors on their books being on the Top 11 Most Challenged Books list.
Last month, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom hosted its first Intellectual Freedom Chat (#ALAIFchat) on Twitter. One hour and 280 characters just wasn’t enough to answer all questions. Here are some answers to questions we didn’t get to, as well as some thoughtful discussions we hope will continue.
This Banned Books Week has been filled with literary advocacy. During the week, readers have been sending letters to banned and challenged authors, sharing how their words have made a difference.