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.
By: Robert Sarwark Trends Last week, the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017 were announced by the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Following that announcement, the Banned Books Week Coalition posted a […]
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.
When the superintendent of the Dixie County School District sought to censor the reading lists of students, Library Media Specialist Lindsey Whittington stood up for intellectual freedom and fought the ban.
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.
Though he threatened to veto it, President Donald Trump signed the consolidated appropriations bill, H.R. 1625, into law on Friday, March 23rd, 2018. The essential text of the original Dickey Amendment from 1996 remains. So where is the change that was reported?
No easy solution exists precisely because defining the borders between intellectual freedom and intellectual dishonesty is so hard. Where does intent factor in to drawing “the line?” What about faith? In the South, we say “you can’t fix stupid,” but intellectual freedom includes the freedom to go down many paths, right?
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.
There must be something in-between an institutionally-coerced pledge and a removed-from-the individual committee statement. Of course, you know this is where I also say that academic librarians have a role. Like professors, we have a professional duty to encourage the development of informed opinions.
With my college students, I wanted to acknowledge challenging discussions that arise when we talk about books, and explain why I choose books that focus on social and cultural issues, and I want them to think about how they might address these issues in their own classrooms when they become teachers.