The library as a shared space naturally brings people together, yet it can simultaneously foster deep divides within a community. The latter has taken shape recently in Seattle in a conflict between the transgender community and the Women’s Liberation Front.
Many libraries have meeting rooms or public spaces that can be used for speakers and events, and this case reinforces the importance of making content neutral decisions regarding who can use these spaces and what they can use them for. Decisions that are not content (or viewpoint) neutral risk legal problems for the library. This also highlights the importance of a clearly defined meeting room and events policy, both to guide internal decision making and to allow staff to have clear and specific viewpoint neutral policy-based reasons if they choose to deny a request to use library space.
Kudos to the Public Library Association for a very well-run and informative conference earlier this month in Philadelphia! The week was chock-full of intellectual freedom offerings, including several programs featuring OIF […]
The IFC/FTRF Issues Briefing at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference features two speakers who will spotlight cutting edge intellectual freedom issues that are raising questions and concerns for libraries today. […]