Among the many challenges of 2020, there is another challenge we’ve faced down in the past and will continue to face in the future: book challenges. Censorship doesn’t take a sick day – and book ban and challenge statistics reported by the Office of Intellectual Freedom prove it. But for the first time, our annual commemoration of the fight against book censorship and other content challenges went virtual-first. Inspired by the Harper’s Index, this post measures Banned Books Week 2020 by the numbers – and shows how intellectual freedom advocates made virtual-first count.
There is a massive amount of news, all day, everyday. You may have missed this, but I assure you it is important. In any other year, this would be the top news story for the day: The Justice Department brought an Antitrust Lawsuit against Google. Read more for a brief discussion on Antitrust Lawsuits from the 1890s to now!
Surveillance. Censorship. Disinformation. Distrust. The information war marches on. This post offers specific suggestions for safeguarding one’s own mind in the “fog and friction” of information warfare, including privacy, “ladder reading,” open-mindedness, asking critical questions, and taking a “trust pause.”
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?
William Marden, NYPL Director of Privacy and Compliance, gives advice about privacy as we move online during COVID-19 pandemic.
Some see contact tracing as an intrusive privacy concern and some see it as necessary for combating the virus. Like it or not, it would appear that contact tracing is going to be a new reality for American library workers. Let’s start a conversation on the Dos and Do-Nots of conducting contact tracing in our libraries.
Lawyer Robert Barnes seeks to prevent the next social media lynch mob by setting legal and cultural precedents for doxing, recording in public, implicit defamation and the ‘of and concerning’ standard, congressional speech immunity under statute, legal jurisdiction in online crimes, and the contours of speech and press freedoms. Barnes represents anonymous clients connected to Covington Catholic High School on matters regarding the 2019 Lincoln Memorial incident, as well as independent media figure Alex Jones of InfoWars.
By: guest contributor Brian E. Wilson, ALSC Liaison for the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics. Acclaimed children’s author Kate Klise talks about how Cathy Evans’ “green dot collection” inspired her and her sister M. Sarah Klise to create the hilarious and inventive new novel, Don’t Check Out This Book!.
I Love My Librarian recipient Cathy Evans shares about her “green-dot” collection, an assortment of books addressing awkward and uncomfortable issues that her students can take and read anonymously, bypassing typical library policies.
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.