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.
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.