The former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy considers loneliness to be an epidemic in America. Dr. Murthy called it a pathology which can lead to greater risk of “dementia, anxiety, and depression” which in turn negatively “impacts creativity, reasoning, and decision-making.”
For those familiar with censorship in China, the Chinese government’s banning of books on the politics and history of its leaders (both past and present) is not a new phenomenon.
On January 4, 2017, the FCC issued an updated Declaratory Ruling of the Restoring Internet Freedom order, finalizing the changes the FCC would like to see done to it’s former Open Internet policy. While we wait to see how internet access might change under, one hurdle to the enactment of these policies might be the U.S. Congress.
Each week, we work to compile the news and organize it so it can be easily skimmed by those of you who subscribe to the blog. Recently, we’ve been comparing notes about what we’ve learned as we gather the Intellectual Freedom News during our first year working for OIF and we thought you, as the readers, might be interested in learning more about the process and our reflections. Here’s a sample of our recent conversations…
In spite of her well-deserved celebrity status as a librarian, Pearl emphasizes that she is first and foremost a reader. She loves reading, writing, and recommending books to readers of all ages. With her wide ranging knowledge of the written word, she definitely does not shy away from recommending a diverse and varied list of books.
To fully understand intellectual freedom, it seems crucial to consider what kinds of barriers to these activities might exist in our local communities and broader American society. The ones I initially think of include self-imposed determinations — I can’t question that! — to outside restrictions — library users in this district can’t access this book! — but perhaps there are others.
In 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to address two questions regarding compelled speech: whether requiring a cakeshop owner to create a cake for a same-sex wedding violates the First Amendment, and whether requiring pregnancy crisis centers to post information on abortions violates the First Amendment. The court’s decisions may have far reaching consequences for compelled speech.
This past summer, patrons around the country challenged libraries about their subscriptions to Teen Vogue. The online article that caused the controversy was published on the Teen Vogue website and was about anal sex. The article was not published in the paper copies of the magazine, but patrons called on libraries to end Teen Vogue subscriptions because of its online content. A public library director, who wishes to remain anonymous, shares how she and her library staff worked through the challenge.
Net Neutrality, The Hate U Give, and P is for Palestine
Before she worked for ALA, Kristin experienced a very public and personal challenge to books when she was the young adult librarian at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. In her current position, Kristin has the opportunity to use this very difficult experience from her past to help librarians who are facing challenges today. Here is Kristin’s story.