Americans can exercise unique freedom of speech rights granted by the first amendment of the US constitution. But can we expect to exercise these freedoms on the websites that have increasingly dominated our channels for communication?
Last month, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom hosted its first Intellectual Freedom Chat (#ALAIFchat) on Twitter. One hour and 280 characters just wasn’t enough to answer all questions. Here are some answers to questions we didn’t get to, as well as some thoughtful discussions we hope will continue.
It also demonstrates cowardice and intolerance. If you disagree with someone’s viewpoint, you should have the courage and respect to share and discuss the reasons behind your beliefs. And more importantly, you should have the courage and respect to listen to ideas other than your own.
Part of the reason that the novel is so well loved, I think, is because it challenged so many of us to think about difficult issues. Whether we continue to teach Mockingbird or choose to move on to another, more modern book, one important lesson from Mockingbird will live on – we will continue to read, and love, our banned books.
It is axiomatic that anyone can sue, over any issue. To file a lawsuit is as simple as drafting a document that purports to allege facts that support a claim for legal relief, paying a fee, and filing the document with a court.
EBSCO, and the Colorado Library Consortium, have been sued by parents seeking to remove EBSCO research databases from Colorado schoolrooms, based on spurious claims that the databases access “pornography.” The problem here isn’t pornography in library databases. The problem is a group of people who believe their prudery should be public policy.
However, as with any banned book, it’s these books that make us uncomfortable, that cause us to dig deep and think about ourselves and about the people around us feel, that are most important to be widely available.
The adult services staff received a package in the mail presented as if it were an ILL. Upon opening it, Jamie Dacyczyn found a paperback book, cataloged in the Teen Comics section, wrapped in white bandage tape with the words “filthy” and “not suited for children” and “18+” written on the tape. It also came with a 4”x 6” lined unsigned post-it note explaining how this books was found at a camp for children and it is totally inappropriate for teens, etc.
However, I’d argue that one of the reasons our country doesn’t experience these dangerous laws is because of the perpetuation of the importance of intellectual freedom by hardworking librarians. I believe the reason we have access to and the freedom to read all books, even controversial ones, is, in part, because of awareness campaigns like Banned Books Week.
By: Rebecca Slocum It’s that time again: August. Back to school. Pencils, markers, crayons line the store shelves. Backpacks and lunchboxes of all different styles and characters have been selected. […]