However, I think even when it isn’t explicitly discussed, the reader must be thinking about privacy – it’s hard to read about how data was collected regarding racism toward Barack Obama or about sexual problems, for example, without reflecting on what your own search history might say. I think the reader cannot avoid considering privacy issues while reading about just how much data Google (and others) can collect.
While many of Rowling’s characters are good role models for her readers, she is also a great role model herself. She shows that personal struggles are nothing to be ashamed of, and that they can be overcome – and in fact, you can even go on to help others. It is fortunate that libraries continue to ensure that children have access to books and authors, including Rowling and Harry Potter, that can inspire them even when those books are challenged.
While library materials and events related to LGBTQ+ issues have unfortunately seen plenty of challenges, and drag queen story times have proven particularly controversial, I find this particular instance especially troubling. Libraries are for everyone which, it should go without saying, includes LGBTQ+ people who, as Snyder points out, pay their taxes too. They deserve materials and programming that are relevant to them, just as much as the rest of us.
The world continues to change quickly, and I would argue that librarians are uniquely situated to consider the implications of technology changes on our users and society. I think we have an ethical responsibility as keepers of our patrons’ data and educators of the next generation of digital citizens to make this a priority.
The documentary, which is well worth watching, delves into the large profit margins of the major scholarly publishers and the risings costs to subscribers, the growing open access movement, and the paradox posed by a system where much of the labor force (authors and editors) work for free, then have their institutions pay to access the content later.
Following the publication of his more recent Imminent Fears piece, Xu was allegedly ordered by university officials to stop “all teaching and research” and take a pay cut. A university “work team” would also be investigating him and the essays he has been writing.
Therefore, the erosion of any free speech case, particularly those involving the press or speech on educational campuses, raises concerns for the library profession. Free expression, free access, and resisting censorship are core principles of the library profession and the Library Bill of Rights.
These exhibits are yet another reminder that so much of our private lives are now very public in a way that they were not a few decades ago.
Carmen-Francesca Banciu is an author, journalist and lecturer who grew up in Romania as the daughter of a high-ranking member of the Communist party. She studied in Bucharest, going on to win the International Short Story Prize in Arnsberg, Germany in 1985, leading to a ban on her works in Romania.
Parents in Mahwah, NJ are expressing distress that the school district has, in their view, reduced student access to books in the school libraries.