As information communities, as librarians, and educators, information literacy principles and first amendment freedoms are at the core to motivating students in college. Confronting self-censorship, academic development, and the ability to practice intellectual freedom is what Xicana/Latina students encounter in higher education.
The Herald Journal reported last week that Jeni Buist, principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Hyrum, Utah, shredded several postcard reproductions of artwork from the library’s copy of The Art Box, a collection published by Phaidon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has banned a list of seven terms. Among them: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” The terms are not to be included by employees in any official documents supporting the CDC’s 2019 budget.
Val Nye interviewed John Harer about a faculty member’s request to remove Holocaust denial books from a large academic library circulating collection. The incident they discussed happened in the mid-1990s, but has lasting ramifications today.
In most book challenges, there is one book that is targeted, for very specific reasons. The reasons behind the challenge may not be unique, but, at the very least, they are reasons that are specific to the challenged book. Instead of one challenge for one book, Dixie County Superintendent Mike Thomas has issued a ban on all materials with, “profanity, cursing or inappropriate subject matter.”
The Conejo Valley Unified School Board is meeting tonight to discuss and vote on a problematic Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials policy.
Challenges to books occasionally occur in academic libraries, but artwork is a more frequent target of challenges in academic libraries. I recently interviewed John Harer, an associate professor of library science at East Carolina University. In the 1990s he was working at Texas A&M when students launched a complaint about a piece of artwork that was hanging near the entrance of the library.
Politics in the classroom isn’t new, but it does feel different this year. The violence in Charlottesville coincided with the back to school rush, and our nation’s violent partisan reality looms as a silent force in many teachers’ and students’ minds.
Free speech on a college campus is a form of public engagement. And public engagement is always a challenge. Ask any of the professors named above. A good response is to sharpen your game and be ready.
Peg Johnson, the library director at Santa Fe Community College, explains how she worked to change the campus’ policy on filtering content on the library’s computers.