These characters were real and flawed. They grappled with moral issues. And yet, they fought hard for justice and saved the day. Their victories showed readers that they, too, could be a hero, standing up to evil and protecting the innocent, and that they didn’t have to be perfect to do so.
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.
Are admissions policies at the world’s most exclusive colleges fair? How do they even determine what “fair” is? And does this presence or absence of fairness affect our intellectual freedom?
We, as librarians and information specialists, can use our skills and our platform as a center of the community to educate our patrons about the immigrant experience and what it means for children and families to leave behind everything familiar for an unknown country.
The School Library Journal hosted its annual Day of Dialogue on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at NYU’s Kimmel Center. The event attracted hundreds of librarians and book enthusiasts from across the country.
Perhaps the most important thing librarians can do is to continue to be a part of the dialogue on how we manage these issues and balance competing interests to ensure intellectual freedom and inclusion, and to be mindful of these issues in program scheduling, meeting space usage, and collection development choices.
Far more than just “keepers of the printed book” (our original job description), we are now, perhaps more than ever, guardians of our teens’ emotional as well as intellectual needs. A large part of our job responsibility is to provide a safe space, a blanket of warmth and comfort, a plethora of intellectual and emotional resources to the young adults we serve.
Colleges increasingly withdraw invitations to controversial speakers, raising questions of free speech, public safety and the role of education.
Diversity is definitely something that should be put into the public eye for awareness, but equally important is that teens and readers of young adult literature know the abundance of books there are with diverse themes and characters. Well-written books about diversity are out there, waiting to be devoured, but where does one begin to find books that fit this category?
“Publishing is not alone when it comes to having a lack of diversity problem. All media, including film, television, and theater, are having similar conversations about diversity. It is plain to see that our society as a whole has a problem. We believe we are at a crucial time right now. We all have to decide if the country in which we live is better off if we conduct our lives separately or together. The diversity problem is not the responsibility of diverse people to solve. It is a problem for everyone to solve. Now that the Diversity Baseline Survey is completed, the real work toward changing the status quo begins. It is not going to be easy. Knowing where we stand and establishing a baseline was the first step. Knowing the baseline numbers gives us a way to measure progress going forward, but only our actions can change things for the better.” Lee & Low