By: Kristin Pekoll, OIF Assistant Director
In response to the decision by the President of Hollins University to remove access to a number of Hollins University yearbooks because they include photos of students in blackface, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom joined ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services and the Virginia Library Association to write a letter urging the university’s administrators to return the yearbooks to the institutional depository and restore full access to the materials. The letter includes a statement of support for the Hollins University librarians and the university’s Working Group on Slavery:
We extend our full support to the staff of Wyndham Robertson Library and the Working Group on Slavery and its Contemporary Legacies, who have demonstrated their commitment to preserving full access to the library’s collections and upholding their professional ethics and values.
Kristin Pekoll is the Assistant Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and is the first contact for support to librarians and educators who are experience censorship. Kristin communicates with state library associations on current book challenges and publications that deal with censorship, privacy, ethics, and internet filtering. She organizes online education and training on the freedom to read and how to navigate reconsideration requests and media relations. Kristin started her career as a youth librarian in West Bend, Wisconsin where she experienced a book challenge to over eighty YA LGBTQ books. This summer she will be publishing her first book with ALA Editions titled Beyond Banned Books: Defending Intellectual Freedom throughout Your Library. In her free time she enjoys watching the Green Bay Packers and working on jigsaw puzzles. Find her on Twitter @kpekoll.