Rhonda Evans rose from ALA Emerging Leader to Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in just one year – and shows no signs of slowing down. She brings expertise, energy, and encouragement to her new IFRT leadership role, and invites all library workers to get involved in intellectual freedom issues. Keep reading to learn about Evans’s journey, perspectives on intellectual freedom, and priorities as IFRT Chair for 2021-22.
We often think of open-mindedness as a personality trait, but Mark Lenker’s research reveals that open-mindedness is more an activity of mind than a state of mind. In a conversation following his LOEX 2020 presentation, “Open-mindedness is an achievement: Prototyping a new threshold concert for information literacy,” Lenker describes the habits – and limits – of open-mindedness, the relationship between open-mindedness and intellectual freedom, and how open-mindedness can be integrated into information literacy instruction and other areas of librarianship.
Twitter’s format of quick-bite information does more harm than good to one’s information literacy development. But the company’s recent partnership with UNESCO to promulgate this modern-day imperative is a step in the right direction.
Free speech on a college campus is a form of public engagement. And public engagement is always a challenge. Ask any of the professors named above. A good response is to sharpen your game and be ready.
The role of libraries in preserving intellectual freedom, as well as the integrity of our collections and interactions we have with patrons, is based on critical thinking and clear-eyed reasoning, not the convenience of a hyperlink.
The Columbia Journalism Review recently discussed how the news media could learn a lot from librarians and the framework, and set of principles, we’ve developed for dealing with the onslaught of digital information. But the truth is that in a culture devoted to the free flow of information and free expression, we learn best when we learn from each other.
Freedom of the Press is an important part of our First Amendment Rights. Americans deserve to be well informed about their country, and journalists deserve the right to espouse their opinions about the government. As Thomas Jefferson himself once wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”