Florida State Capitol

Intellectual Freedom on College Campuses: An Update on Current State Legislation

The term intellectual freedom has been recently tossed around by state lawmakers to justify new laws targeting college campuses. The recent laws and policy changes mainly target one of three things: faculty tenure, curriculum, or freedom of speech. This post will provide an update on new laws or incidents happening in various states.

A photo of Dan Rather next to a photo of the cover of his book What Unites Us: Reflection of Patriotism on top of a red background with a white speech bubble

“Libraries are What Unite Us”: A Conversation with Dan Rather About His Book “What Unites Us”

Dan Rather, veteran journalist and author of the book What Unites Us: Reflections of Patriotism, sat down with Adult editor for Booklist Donna Seaman to discuss his book and the important role libraries play in sustaining our democracy. Their discussion also touched on the importance of funding libraries, the free and independent press, and science literacy.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Institute of Museum and Library Services Logo

ARPA Pulls Through for Library Funding and Broadband Assistance

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) featured stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and funds COVID-19 vaccines. It also provides $200 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In addition to supporting the IMLS, ARPA also included additional provisions for broadband assistance, such as funds to be appropriated towards schools and libraries to support remote learning.

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.

Find the Library at your Place

“Fundamental to life”: Library Workers, Advocates Share Predictions, Freedom to Read Experiences Ahead of National Library Week

“The right to make my own choice is fundamental to life, and intellectual freedom with the right to choose what to read is necessary to maintain what I believe is inherent to all of us,” says Salt Lake County librarian Wanda Mae Huffaker. In anticipation of National Library Week 2020 and the State of America’s Libraries report announcing the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019, we share book challenge experiences, 2019 top challenged title predictions, and our passion for the freedom to read.

Lisa Hoover, Public Services Librarian at Clarkson University, and Michelle Young, Dean of Libraries at Clarkson University, at the NYS Capitol building on Legislative Advocacy Day. Photo by Ginger Tebo, School Library System Director at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES.

Advocating for our patrons

Overall, going to legislative advocacy day was a really positive experience. I think it is important for librarians to speak up about the importance of libraries and the needs of our patrons. Many of our patrons – especially in school libraries – can’t speak up for themselves about what they need. In today’s fiscal climate, I think we need to speak up to make sure we can continue to serve our patrons’ needs.