ALA’s Midwinter Meeting is in Denver and the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be there staffing the different committee meetings and programs.
Committee meetings and programs are open to any attendee, and are often a good way to learn about the business of ALA and its intellectual freedom initiatives. Check out the Midwinter scheduler. And don’t forget to tweet #ALAMW18
The question of neutrality in librarianship is an old one. ALA’s 1939 Code of Ethics for Librarians calls for unbiased “recommendations”. This is seen in the ALA Library Bill of Rights principles that present the library as content neutral, open and accessible to all. We will explore the following questions with the aim of challenging our thinking and practices:
- Were libraries ever neutral?
- Has the time come to question neutrality?
- Are libraries through their practices, collections, services and technologies able to be neutral?
- Can libraries be neutral as part of societies and systems that are not neutral?
- Rather than neutral, should we advocate for a distinct set of values?
- How can we do so and maintain trust in our communities?
Every library needs clear policies that guide the selection, weeding, and reconsideration of library resources. A new toolkit from ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom provides policy samples, best practices, and instructions on how to handle everything from complaints to donations. Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Helen Adams and other toolkit authors will review its features and answer questions. Print toolkit packets will be available for all attendees to bring back to their libraries. This session, with the accompanying toolkit, will enable library professionals to rationally and confidently defend their collections and protect them from censorship.
This session urges attendees to re-think advocacy: to re-define the library community, expand the way we have been advocating for libraries, and prepare to advocate for libraries as fundamental building blocks to democracy. In this joint effort of ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy and the Office for Intellectual Freedom, we’ll explore some of the brutal facts about our current environment, celebrate our assets, and offer practical tips to reclaim a moral sanction for the work we do, and the support our communities deserve. Registration Required $25
After attendees are inspired and awed by the Advocacy Bootcamp, this session will empower advocates to return to their professional communities and train others to re-define the library community and expand library advocacy with techniques and strategies that are proving time and again to succeed for our communities.
Continuing with their dynamic partnership, ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy and Office for Intellectual Freedom will prepare attendees with this training program to further re-think advocacy methods and to cultivate the next generation of library advocates, arming libraries around the country with a skillset to meet today’s challenges head-on. Registration Required $25
The Kansas City Public Library’s defense of the First Amendment has earned it the 2017 Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The award is given annually by the faculty of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and cosponsored by Libraries Unlimited.