bikes

Dispatches from the Houghton Library, Part Two: Who’s In and Who’s Out?

Are admissions policies at the world’s most exclusive colleges fair? How do they even determine what “fair” is? And does this presence or absence of fairness affect our intellectual freedom?

Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants

Book of Oatmeal.com comic strips defaced as ‘filthy’ and ’18+’ by non-borrower

The adult services staff received a package in the mail presented as if it were an ILL. Upon opening it, Jamie Dacyczyn found a paperback book, cataloged in the Teen Comics section, wrapped in white bandage tape with the words “filthy” and “not suited for children” and “18+” written on the tape. It also came with a 4”x 6” lined unsigned post-it note explaining how this books was found at a camp for children and it is totally inappropriate for teens, etc.

Wedding Cake

Wedding cake warning: policies & decisions must be content neutral

Many libraries have meeting rooms or public spaces that can be used for speakers and events, and this case reinforces the importance of making content neutral decisions regarding who can use these spaces and what they can use them for. Decisions that are not content (or viewpoint) neutral risk legal problems for the library. This also highlights the importance of a clearly defined meeting room and events policy, both to guide internal decision making and to allow staff to have clear and specific viewpoint neutral policy-based reasons if they choose to deny a request to use library space. 

magazine covers in a magazine rack

Gender bias lesson leads to policy changes–and questions for school librarians

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.

Book Challenges and Authors Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Book Challenges and Authors Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Indeed, however difficult it might be to differentiate the men who authored these books from their words on the page, it is vital to our First Amendment rights and the promotion of intellectual freedom that we do not let that difficulty interfere with our duties as librarians. Patrons possess, and should continue to hold, the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to read these materials.

Introducing the New Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit

If you are attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver in February, the core team who worked on the toolkit will be having a panel discussion during the Symposium on the Future of Libraries. Join us for our one hour session, “The Front Lines of Intellectual Freedom: Protecting Your Pages with Policy.” The session will be held on Saturday, February 10, from 3-4 pm in room 404 of the Colorado Convention Center. Each attendee will receive a print copy of the toolkit.