To Kill a Mockingbird cover art

Banned Book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is America’s ‘Best-Loved’ Novel

Part of the reason that the novel is so well loved, I think, is because it challenged so many of us to think about difficult issues. Whether we continue to teach Mockingbird or choose to move on to another, more modern book, one important lesson from Mockingbird will live on – we will continue to read, and love, our banned books.

bikes

Dispatches from the Houghton Library, Part Two: Who’s In and Who’s Out?

Are admissions policies at the world’s most exclusive colleges fair? How do they even determine what “fair” is? And does this presence or absence of fairness affect our intellectual freedom?

Libraries Leadership and Scholarly Communication

Review of “Libraries, Leadership, and Scholarly Communication” and “Scholarly Communication: What Everyone Needs to Know”

ALA Editions published a book of essays in 2016 by Rick Anderson called Libraries, Leadership, and Scholarly Communication. The author also has a new book out called Scholarly Communication: What Everyone Needs to Know. I’ve worked with Rick Anderson for nearly a decade now and have read many of his scholarly communication-related articles. I wanted to take the chance to read other essays that I may have missed, especially those about libraries and leadership in general.

professor at the blackboard

The Best Educating Requires Academic Freedom

Weakening the protections of academic freedom will make it harder for all educators to do their jobs effectively and creatively. I think for most of us, if we think back we will realize the teachers we remember most, and that we learned the most from, are the ones who challenged the way we think and pushed us beyond our comfort zones. Educators at all levels need to continue to have the freedom to do this.

Harvard University's Houghton Library

Dispatches from the Houghton Library, Part One

As an academic librarian with a deep interest in historical and contemporary book censorship, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my vacation than with the very books deemed too dangerous to read. This post is my first dispatch as a visiting fellow in publishing history at the Houghton Library, Harvard’s main repository of rare books and manuscripts.

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.