Tuesdays are my regular late night at the reference desk, which means that Tuesday morning are my weekly chance to run daytime errands, work in the yard, or schedule appointments with the plethora of health professionals that are part of modern life. Having spent the last three hours de-turfing another section of the front yard in preparation for this weekend’s ambitious xeriscaping project, I’m getting ready to head out for my annual eye exam. As a wearer of the requisite librarian eyeglasses, an annual visit to my optometrist is a necessary part of my health maintenance routine. It’s a chance to see if my eyes are in good health, or if my prescription has changed, or if I’ve finally managed to do enough lid scrubs to please Dr. Patel. This annual check-up is one way to ensure that I’ll continue to have good vision throughout the rest of the year.
What does this have to do with intellectual freedom? Well, we’re just about a week away from the ALA Annual Conference. For many attendees (especially in these economic times), this conference will be the only chance for professional development all year. That’s why I’m hoping that these folks will choose to attend at least one of the many intellectual freedom-related programs and events in Washington, D.C. This is their chance for their annual intellectual freedom check-up: to learn about current issues, hear about ways to protect intellectual freedom in a changing world, and be inspired by the courageous stands of our colleagues and friends in defense of the principles that are at the heart of our profession.
For those not able to attend the annual conference, there are still ways to stay on top of the latest issues. Subscribing to the Intellectual Freedom Action Network’s e-mail news service will get you regular updates on IF-related news stories. Joining the Facebook group for Fans of Intellectual Freedom will give you something else to read besides the latest FarmVille updates. Following OIF on Twitter is the option if you don’t have time for more than 140 characters. All of these are ways to stay informed in between your annual intellectual freedom check-ups.
So, now there’s no excuse for not being informed. Whether we see you at a program at Annual, or whether you stay in touch via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter, you have plenty of options to maintain and expand your knowledge of intellectual freedom. The one thing we don’t have (yet) is the ability to send you the annual postcard saying it’s time for your intellectual freedom check-up. Knowing my pals at OIF, I’m sure that’s coming soon.