Many libraries have meeting rooms or public spaces that can be used for speakers and events, and this case reinforces the importance of making content neutral decisions regarding who can use these spaces and what they can use them for. Decisions that are not content (or viewpoint) neutral risk legal problems for the library. This also highlights the importance of a clearly defined meeting room and events policy, both to guide internal decision making and to allow staff to have clear and specific viewpoint neutral policy-based reasons if they choose to deny a request to use library space.
Do the NFL’s new no-kneel policy and the sudden cancellation of ABC’s ‘Roseanne’ reboot cancel each other out? What are the limits of free speech in a free market?
When the superintendent of the Dixie County School District sought to censor the reading lists of students, Library Media Specialist Lindsey Whittington stood up for intellectual freedom and fought the ban.
Perhaps the most important thing librarians can do is to continue to be a part of the dialogue on how we manage these issues and balance competing interests to ensure intellectual freedom and inclusion, and to be mindful of these issues in program scheduling, meeting space usage, and collection development choices.
By: guest blogger Tara Lane Bowman; Protest placards have come a long way since the days when signs beseeched readers to elect a candidate in an upcoming election. In the past, these signs and slogans were direct. The act of carrying a sign is a First Amendment right that engages any literate bystander. It would be enough to carry a message that states exactly what it is that a protester stands for or against. However, the Women’s Marches show that modern protests require more than physical presence and traditional signs of dissent.
In 1988, a Supreme Court case stripped student journalists of their First Amendment rights. Now, three decades later, students are standing up and bringing new bills like the Cronkite New Voices Act to the courts.
They are saying that politics do not belong in schools; students are there to learn, not make political statements. A Houston-area school went so far as to threaten discipline for students who participated in any walkout or political protesting on campus. And it got me thinking: do these minors have a right to free speech? Are their actions protected by the First Amendment? I decided to find out.
What is more American than protecting the first Amendment? Whether it be free speech or hate speech, differing opinions will exist in the room. In educational settings, educators are preparing students for life where there are rooms filled with all forms of conflicting ideas and practices.
A new documentary about censorship and the cinema premiered at a recent film festival. Created by a team of film experts, activists, and archival researchers, this film includes interviews, movie clips, and narration that explores this particular aspect of history.
The fight echoes the battles libraries have long fought regarding content versus access. These issues are likely to show up in libraries yet again.