Today, December 15, 2018, we celebrate the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Bill of Rights Day on this day in 1941 to honor and observe the preservation of our individual rights.
By guest blogger Emily Schneider. If librarians and other advocates for an inclusive and activist approach to literacy are afraid to discuss antisemitism as a deep-rooted and dangerous blight on society, we have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Many of us have probably seen news articles raising privacy concerns regarding home DNA test kits, but now evidence indicates that choosing to take one of these at-home DNA tests may have privacy implications for not only you, but also your family members.
Like a good proportion of the country, I have been doing my best to catch bits and pieces of the Senate hearings regarding the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the US Supreme Court. When I sat down to write this blog I wondered, what impact might Kavanaugh’s confirmation have on intellectual freedom issues?
A federal district court ruling earlier this month which held that there is no clearly established constitutional right to literacy in the United States has reminded me that the various pieces of my background are sometimes in conflict with one another.
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.
Stand, is an original, hour-long play about political and intellectual freedom written by Matthew Ivan Bennett. It’s a story of compelled speech, thought, action, and surveillance “by the minute”–a perfect work of art for intellectual freedom proponents to engage with and explore.
Even since 1997, that tradition of free speech has endured. An entire cottage industry of publishing content banned throughout Mainland China emerged to a point of (semi-)national notoriety in Hong Kong, if not actual pride.
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.