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.
Most librarians are aware of books that get challenged and the tools needed to protect their library against censorship, but censorship can also affect our digital content, whether it’s databases, e-books, streaming content, apps or electronic tools. Be aware of the current trend in challenges to these materials and how ALA is working with librarians and vendors to protect access to these great resources.
The Conejo Valley Unified School Board is meeting tonight to discuss and vote on a problematic Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials policy.
The events in Charlottesville have heightened public awareness of white supremacist organizations and their music, merchandise and online presence. There has also been a renewed interest in leading technology company platforms and the ways in which they host and profit from the activities of groups that identify with white supremacy.
When discussing policy issues, I think we need to truly think about the decisions we make based on conflicting motives. An important one in school libraries is teaching responsibility versus instilling a love of reading. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about barriers to access for students in school libraries.
Former ALA President Ann Symons said it well in explaining that a materials challenge is a trip to hell, something that you wouldn’t want to wish on your worst enemy. However, I believe that facing the experience with honest communication and an understanding of the right of each person to their particular viewpoint are the keys to navigating the journey successfully. My parents taught me to stand up for I believed in and supporting intellectual freedom and universal access are, for me, core beliefs.
As always, libraries try to follow the law, preserving the right of individuals to have access to constitutionally protected material. People have honest disagreements about just what that entails – including Supreme Court Justices. But librarians don’t have to apologize for standing up for the First Amendment.
Lately, a number of libraries have offered programs in which drag queens read to children, or share make-up or fashion tips … Men dressing as women for the purposes of entertainment isn’t new at all.
The Florida legislature is well on its way to approving a bill that could have dramatic consequences for Florida students’ and teachers’ intellectual freedom. Proponents of HB 989 / SB 1210 claim that the bill improves transparency and gives parents a stronger voice in their children’s education. But we have to ask questions about these claims.
These seven checklists can help libraries conduct a comprehensive audit of library user data collection, retention, submission, and security.