ALA’s Annual Conference is in New Orleans and the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be there staffing 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 conference scheduler. And don’t forget to tweet #ALAAC18.
At this one-hour fast-paced session, you’ll learn about the intellectual freedom activities of ALA and affiliated organizations (such as the Intellectual Freedom Round Table and the Freedom to Read Foundation) and get all the details on upcoming programs and events. Intellectual freedom leaders will share how you can get involved in a community dedicated to protecting the First Amendment and patrons’ rights.
Library workers regularly encounter situations in the workplace when personal and professional ethics collide. These experiences, particularly while serving the public, require a significant amount of thoughtful reflection about ethics, professionalism, and librarianship. More recently, these ethical conflicts have become a point of conversation among library professionals via social media, blogs, and list-servs. These passionate discussions have highlighted the need for a thoughtful reflection on the ALA Code of Ethics and the complicated nature of ethics in and outside of the library.
“Fake news” has always been part of the communication landscape. The difference now is that we are inundated with social media that makes it possible to disseminate “fake news” quickly and easily. In the past “fake news” was used as propaganda to isolate individuals or groups of people, destabilize governments, and foment anarchy. “Fake news” may be inaccurate, dishonest, misleading, intentionally untrue, and even intended to damage the paradigm of factual information. But is it illegal? Is it protected by the First Amendment? Can “fake news” — or suppressing it — undermine our democratic way of life?
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is proud to sponsor a moderated debate on the subject of “big data” analytics in the library world. The right of library users to keep private their individual use of library resources has traditionally been protected by federal, state and local privacy laws as well as ALA’s long-standing guidelines.
But those protections are increasingly challenged by the use of “big data”: library patron information that is bundled up, aggregated, and (usually) anonymized for varied purposes including trend analyses, grant funding, and reporting to local governments. But has this new era of data collection become another form of surveillance? Is the aggregated data of library users truly anonymous? Can we collect such data and still guarantee the minimum standards of privacy for our library users?
In this lively discussion, two speakers representing opposing points of view will debate the “big data” phenomenon and its possible consequences for patron privacy. The IFRT discussion will be moderated by Bill Marden, director of Privacy and Compliance at the New York Public Library.
The 2018 Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) Awards Recognition and Fundraising Breakfast will recognize IFRT award-winners and also include an engaging discussion and presentation by New Orleans journalist and author (Getting Off at Elysian Fields: Obituaries from the New Orleans ‘Times-Picayune’) John Pope. The Fundraising Breakfast will raise funds for IFRT awards, which recognize intellectual freedom heroes and contributions.
Libraries are faced with the competing needs to protect the privacy of their users while at the same time analyzing the use of library collections and services. This panel session will cover the threats to library user privacy posed by data analytics and the practices and techniques that libraries can adopt to mitigate these threats, including access control, aggregation, and de-identification.
Three library professionals will present strategies for best providing credible information to inmates in jail and prison settings. Specifically, collection development, budgeting and community partnerships will be discussed. Two library professionals from the United States and one from Canada will share their collaboration efforts, programming ideas, reentry strategies and collection development policies. The panel will address the difficulties regularly faced when providing access to their populations in prison or jail. In addition, the topic of censorship and Intellectual Freedom will be examined in the four correctional library settings. Finally, the role of technology in a special correctional library will be reviewed — from the sources used by our library professionals to the restrictions placed on the inmates. Panelists will present personal success stories as well as challenges they face regularly as library professionals in secure environments.
Library work can engage or be motivated by our ethical, political, and moral beliefs, as well as our professional values. What happens when these values and beliefs are called into question during the course of our work in readers advisory, collection development, programming, instruction, or scholarship? Panelists will provide an overview of academic and intellectual freedom concepts, and discuss scenarios and potential protections that might apply to library workers in private and public-sector organizations, as well the benefits of union membership.
Stand for the Banned
Stop by the Stand for the Banned recording booth to share how your favorite banned book has changed your life; share a story on how you battled censorship; or read from a banned book. Your message will be professionally videotaped and featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel and promoted during Banned Books Week (Sept. 23-29, 2018). The booth is hosted by the Office for Intellectual Freedom and SAGE Publishing. Thanks to a partnership with the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, the booth will be stocked with banned translated works, along with classics, graphic novels and thrillers, to inspire you to speak out against censorship.
The recording booth will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. You can find the Stand for the Banned recording booth outside the exhibit hall. Look for the red carpet and lights!