Katie Chamberlain Kritikos: The impetus for this talkback was the controversy surrounding the publication in January of this year of a children’s book called A Birthday Cake for George Washington. Because critics instantly condemned the book for its depiction of smiling slaves, publisher Scholastic Press withdrew the book and halted its distribution.
This withdrawal encapsulates the shifting social context of intellectual freedom in the United States. Traditionally, free speech advocates decry any attempt to suppress expression. A growing emphasis on social justice creates tension between the foundation and the future of intellectual freedom. This post considers the recent controversies over children’s books, trigger warnings, and free speech online to explore this crossroads of information policy.
Judith Platt: Let me begin by saying that, not surprisingly I’m pretty close to a free speech absolutist. I believe our First Amendment and what it represents and encompasses is the basis of every other human and civil right. I do not believe we can ever hope for social justice in the absence of unfettered free speech.
It is fairly uncommon to hear about a constructed language being taken to court over copyright claims, at least non-computer programming languages. This is why it was so surprising to […]
By Dustin Fife I love when news organizations reach out to librarians. A local news agency reached out to me today to ask about internet filtering and some possible legislation […]
By Dustin Fife I was lucky enough to watch Martin Garnar present at a library conference last week. He presented about library ethics and intellectual freedom. Martin is dean of […]
The concept of intellectual freedom is a driving point for the narrative and provides an extraordinary teaching point for readers of any age. The novel does a great job introducing the principles of intellectual freedom to young readership. Dorrie and the other apprentices are tasked with learning the Princples of Lybrarianship. A conversation which was fully explored by the author and supported within the text, its plot and characters.
This webinar will share examples of potential partners and how collaborating with non library organizations can strengthen your message and increase your reach. Featuring Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and Emily Brock, a Publicist at Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Please take a moment as we welcome James LaRue as the new director for the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. Born and raised in Waukegan, IL, he’s spent the past 29 years in Colorado and recently relocated to Chicago to begin his new job in January. A lover of music, movies (Groundhog Day, Soapdish, Ex-Machina), breakfast anytime and Chicago hot dogs, he is a self proclaimed RE-reader, choosing to plow through a lot of the same books every year with favorites including: Heinlein, Connie Willis, Dorothy Savery, the Harry Potter series and the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. Director LaRue was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few more questions.
It contained age-appropriate themes of young alienation, the emptiness of suburban culture, the clash between personal goals and patriotism, and the search for meaningful relationships—and it was just cancelled at Enfield High School.
Earlier this month, Slate published a disconcerting article titled: “ISIS Gives Us No Choice but to Consider Limits on Speech.” It was written by eminent legal scholar Eric Posner, a Yale and Harvard educated academic, who is currently employed by the University of Chicago Law School. Posner’s is an old and insinuative argument. In order to stop an enemy, you must stop people from being curious about that enemy.