I certainly see the importance of sunshine laws like FOIA, but I also like that Bohannon’s original idea focused on celebrating the First Amendment, which has perhaps lost some of the focus.
One librarian’s reflections on diversity of opinion as it fits within our understanding of intellectual freedom and information literacy.
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.
The First Amendment has been front and center in the press under President Donald Trump’s administration. That’s what makes Steven Spielberg’s new movie so incredibly timely. The director’s latest drama, The Post, chronicles The Washington Post’s 1971 effort to publish the legendary Pentagon Papers.
A recent Pew poll indicates that a majority of Americans not only realize that they are often surrounded by misinformation, but also that the library can help them wade through it all.
We are often asked why we have libraries in the age of Google. We just have been given the perfect opportunity to prove our worth. Will we open the discussion and grab it?
The role of libraries in preserving intellectual freedom, as well as the integrity of our collections and interactions we have with patrons, is based on critical thinking and clear-eyed reasoning, not the convenience of a hyperlink.
The Columbia Journalism Review recently discussed how the news media could learn a lot from librarians and the framework, and set of principles, we’ve developed for dealing with the onslaught of digital information. But the truth is that in a culture devoted to the free flow of information and free expression, we learn best when we learn from each other.
Freedom of the Press is an important part of our First Amendment Rights. Americans deserve to be well informed about their country, and journalists deserve the right to espouse their opinions about the government. As Thomas Jefferson himself once wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
Librarians are simple creatures, for the most part. We want to uphold the First Amendment, provide access to information, find the right answer to an asked question, and maybe recommend someone a good book. We are committed to education, accessibility, intellectual freedom, innovation, and maybe cardigans.