September is a busy month for academic librarians, but whiteboard surveys offer a relatively easy way to mark Banned Books Week and raise awareness of the issue of banned and challenged books.
The right of incarcerated people to read and the fight to allow them to do so were explored in “Minds Unlocked: Supporting Intellectual Freedom Behind Bars,” at the 2019 ALA Annual in Washington, DC. Librarians, whether they work with incarcerated people or not, are key to helping defend the right to intellectual freedom, and this presentation provided important information on the context of censorship policies and the subjective realities of what incarcerated people are and are not allowed to read.
Maurice Sendak’s 1970 book In the Night Kitchen is a dreamy book about a naked little boy named Mickey working to keep from getting baked in a cake. But from the moment the book was published and continuing into the 21st century, Mickey’s nudity has unsettled reviewers, parents and even some librarians.
Raina Telgemeier, who celebrates her 42nd birthday on May 26, is a bestselling, award-winning author and illustrator of graphic novels for kids and young adults. Her work is based on the idea of helping children and young adults realize the value and importance of their own stories, despite the pressures they may feel from family or peers.
As a librarian I believe everyone should have access to the information they need, but as a parent I can understand how the lack of parental control presented by school programs and unrestricted library books can be very unnerving. Much like protests to the teaching of sexuality education in schools, books on the subject are challenged in libraries due to the role they play in the spread of such important information.
The issue of consumer data privacy, the right of the consumer to be aware of and have some control over personal data collected and sold by companies online, is having a moment as several bills have recently been introduced to Congress while federal agencies and state legislatures have been also working on the issue.
For the first time this century, a wide array of artworks, books, music and films fell into the public domain. Works in the public domain, which now includes those created in 1923, are no longer under copyright protection, so anyone who enjoys creating something can make use of works in the public domain for inspiration. While the late 20th century saw a copyright term that only got longer, the 21st century sees the public domain finally grow.
Internet memes proliferate online. They catch on and spread via social media because they’re funny or they hit a nerve. Often, cats are involved. In using images taken from creative works or private life, memes show how copyright law intersects with issues of internet use and privacy.