Book Review: Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin

Overall Rosenbloom’s book engaged me intellectually in a way I was not expecting, and still addressed the issue (who the heck makes books made out of human skin?) that got me to pick up the book in the first place. It turned out to be a really interesting lens through which to consider medical ethics, ethics regarding human remains, and collection development ethics all rolled into one unique issue

Photo of the main building of the Lafayette Public Library

The Situation on the Ground in Lafayette, Louisiana

There seems to be an intellectual freedom trend with Libraries being attacked from within by their Library Boards. No matter who wins these debates, it is the community that will always lose. The most recent example comes out of Lafayette, Louisiana. Here, the Board rejected a grant for a voting rights program because it did not feature both sides.

Stylized silhouettes of two people facing each other in front of library shelves.

The Future of Intellectual Freedom: IFLA, FAIFE Seek Comment, Article Proposals

The future of intellectual freedom is ours to decide. To commemorate Human Rights Day, share your views on the IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom in IFLA-FAIFE’s survey by January 15th. Then, develop your ideas further with an article abstract for the 2021 special issue of IFLA Journal on intellectual freedom due March 1st.

Archibald MacLeish portrait

An Invitation to Danger: Perspectives on Intellectual Freedom and Information War

The first task of information warfare is to recognize when you’re in one, because you might not be fighting the information war, but the information war is fighting you. This essay revisits the wartime writing of Archibald MacLeish, poet-warrior, playwright-propagandist, and Librarian of Congress from 1939 through 1944. It explores whether we’re experiencing an information war now, and how the library community can respond.

Person with a book

“Most respectful of the truth”: Exploring open-mindedness with Mark Lenker

We often think of open-mindedness as a personality trait, but Mark Lenker’s research reveals that open-mindedness is more an activity of mind than a state of mind. In a conversation following his LOEX 2020 presentation, “Open-mindedness is an achievement: Prototyping a new threshold concert for information literacy,” Lenker describes the habits – and limits – of open-mindedness, the relationship between open-mindedness and intellectual freedom, and how open-mindedness can be integrated into information literacy instruction and other areas of librarianship.

A newspaper silencing their own reporter: what about free speech?

I was fascinated to wake up to the headline “Washington Post reporter who tweeted about Kobe Bryant rape allegations placed on administrative leave” recently. My first thought was “What? I must have read that wrong.” But I didn’t – The Washington Post reported itself that it had suspended political reporter Felicia Sonmez after she “sparked a furious backlash” by posting about the rape allegations from 2003 against Kobe Bryant shortly after his death in a helicopter crash.