Youth need a space where they feel accepted, and the library can be that space.
Let’s take a closer look at how polarizing headlines and false dichotomies about a recent survey of college students flatten the notion of patriotism and simplify the complexity of people’s beliefs about free speech, hate speech, and inclusivity.
These characters were real and flawed. They grappled with moral issues. And yet, they fought hard for justice and saved the day. Their victories showed readers that they, too, could be a hero, standing up to evil and protecting the innocent, and that they didn’t have to be perfect to do so.
By guest blogger Emily Schneider. If librarians and other advocates for an inclusive and activist approach to literacy are afraid to discuss antisemitism as a deep-rooted and dangerous blight on society, we have a problem that needs to be addressed.
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?
Addressing the issue as a community allows for open and effective communication and gives students the opportunity to understand and ask questions about what is likely a confusing topic for them. Many of these students have probably already either experienced firsthand or have heard about an incident of police violence, and like it or not, they are already actively paying attention to and attempting to understand the important issues our nation is facing and their role in such situations. It is important for educators— ALL educators – to guide them through that process.
We, as librarians and information specialists, can use our skills and our platform as a center of the community to educate our patrons about the immigrant experience and what it means for children and families to leave behind everything familiar for an unknown country.
The School Library Journal hosted its annual Day of Dialogue on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at NYU’s Kimmel Center. The event attracted hundreds of librarians and book enthusiasts from across the country.
“Beyond merely avoiding the exclusion of materials representing unorthodox or unpopular ideas, libraries should proactively seek to include an abundance of resources and programming representing the greatest possible diversity of genres, ideas, and expressions. A full commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion requires that library collections and programming reflect the broad range of viewpoints and cultures that exist in our world.”
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.