Some of my more memorable interactions with the campus, especially students and faculty, have revolved around the themes BBW brings to the surface and highlights in real life situations for discourse.
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.
In 1988, a Supreme Court case stripped student journalists of their First Amendment rights. Now, three decades later, students are standing up and bringing new bills like the Cronkite New Voices Act to the courts.
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.
Call to action from the Iowa Library Association leads to an explosion of #librarylove from librarians, readers and authors. “If you’re a library professional in the state of Iowa, help support library staff in Orange City. Send them your support. Make sure they know you have their back. ILA and ALA are working on this with them. Write letters to the local newspaper. Support via social media as well!” – Dan Chibnall
ALA’s Midwinter Meeting is in Denver and the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be there staffing the different committee meetings and programs. Committee meetings and programs are open to any […]
In spite of her well-deserved celebrity status as a librarian, Pearl emphasizes that she is first and foremost a reader. She loves reading, writing, and recommending books to readers of all ages. With her wide ranging knowledge of the written word, she definitely does not shy away from recommending a diverse and varied list of books.
Whether you post the calendars in your office where you might pique a visitor’s interest or use them to schedule tasks with students or reference desk shifts, you are raising awareness of intellectual freedom. You are starting conversations.
As curators of collections, authorities on access, or just plain bookworms, we have an important role to play right now. If intellectual freedom is based on exploring, changing, improving through the discovery of new ideas then we have an opportunity, because of our particular skill set, to help shift the conversation.
We have an obligation to understand the inherent weaknesses of social media environments and actively educate about them. It might serve us to remember that at one point the implantation of OPACs’, or the migration of journals into databases, or the growth of digital archives as dynamic new platforms of publishing and dissemination also seemed foreign to our mission. Our profession is constantly evolving and social media has become a maelstrom.