The main premise of “Net Neutrality: An Intellectual Freedom Issue” is that intellectual freedom and the full functioning of libraries in America will be impeded by allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to throttle content in pursuit of their financial and customer service interests. I have to admit that the two ideas seemed unrelated to me. Is the premise really true? How exactly does net neutrality relate to public libraries and their provision of internet access?
My hope is that the Great American Read series and accompanying library programming across the country may draw in some of those Americans who did not read a book last year. Perhaps they will even read one of the banned books on the list and gain an appreciation for the importance of the right to read and intellectual freedom. Either way, I am thrilled to see so many banned and challenged books on a list of America’s favorite reads. My fellow readers, keep reading books that challenge the status quo and make you consider multiple perspectives.
Stand, is an original, hour-long play about political and intellectual freedom written by Matthew Ivan Bennett. It’s a story of compelled speech, thought, action, and surveillance “by the minute”–a perfect work of art for intellectual freedom proponents to engage with and explore.
Even since 1997, that tradition of free speech has endured. An entire cottage industry of publishing content banned throughout Mainland China emerged to a point of (semi-)national notoriety in Hong Kong, if not actual pride.
By Andrea Jamison The Aurora Public Library became the subject of intense scrutiny resulting from a decision to publicly display a controversial poem. The poem in question, “Hijab Means Jihad,” […]
Dubbed self-censoring, there is a growing concern that many librarians are purposefully omitting certain books and content from library collections due to personal bias opposed to professional judgment. According to an article in the School Library Journal, self-censorship is “a dirty secret that no one in the profession wants to talk about or admit practicing. Yet everyone knows some librarians bypass good books—those with literary merit or that fill a need in their collections.”
It is not uncommon for writers to choose the route of self-publishing because the traditional publishing route is difficult, if not impossible, for some writers to enter. This is especially true if you happen to be a member of a marginalized group. Self-publishing is probably the only opportunity available to you.
Beginning on May 1, we’ll post a link here daily pointing to a new post on the Choose Privacy Week blog that we hope will inspire you to think about and discuss these issues and to take action to preserve individuals’ privacy rights.
Recent book challenges in the news have involved permission slips sent home by classroom teachers when students would be reading a potentially controversial book, and I’d like to take some time to review the bigger picture surrounding classroom text selection, parent communication, and the sticky question of “permission.”
We owe it to kids to talk to them about their rights and what support looks like—be it for challenged books, authors, or marginalized people—and how all of it ties into the power dynamics of their country.