magazine covers in a magazine rack

Gender bias lesson leads to policy changes–and questions for school librarians

No policy can be written to prevent all challenges and all selection mistakes.  But we can improve how we talk to each other and how we talk about our policies. Included here are three steps school librarians can take to lay the groundwork for improved conversations between parents, teachers, and administrators.

Speak Freely

Book Review of ‘Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech’

If you’re looking for a good overview of free speech on college campuses, I highly recommend Speak Freely by Keith Whittington published by Princeton University Press this month. The book is 232 pages and distributed in print and e for $24.95. It offers a timely and very sophisticated treatment of free speech and academic freedom on American college and university campuses.

free speech and protest

The Role of Libraries in Free Campus Speech

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.

Never Again Movement Facebook Cover

Do Student Protesters Have First Amendment Rights?

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.

Keep Calm and Chat to a Librarian

Intellectual Freedom Needs Content, Curriculum, and Librarians

Librarians are crucial to ensuring intellectual freedom because we build relationships with learners and we help foster curiosity and creativity through daily interaction. We get to know people. We talk with them and we become trusted colleagues, mentors, and educators, yet this element of our profession often gets left out in our marketing and advertising.

Make Partnerships, Not Permission Slips: Seven Intellectual Freedom Tips for Classroom Reading

Recent book challenges in the news have involved permission slips sent home by classroom teachers when students would be reading a potentially controversial book, and I’d like to take some time to review the bigger picture surrounding classroom text selection, parent communication, and the sticky question of “permission.”

Luna Roja, painting by artist Adriana Gallegos (1998)

Xicanas/Latinas and Intellectual Freedom in College: When Reading is Political

As information communities, as librarians, and educators, information literacy principles and first amendment freedoms are at the core to motivating students in college. Confronting self-censorship, academic development, and the ability to practice intellectual freedom is what Xicana/Latina students encounter in higher education.