The Cranston Public Library in Cranston, RI hosts a weekly podcast titled Down Time with Cranston Public Library where they talk with librarians, library workers and community members about a variety of topics. On February 15th, 2022 they spoke with Martin Garnar, director of the Amherst College Library, and Marianne Mirando, the Librarian from Westerly High School in Westerly, RI to talk about the recent increase in book challenges across the country. They discussed what it means for a book to be challenged in a school or public library and what you can do to protect intellectual freedom in your community. This post is an excerpt from their conversation.
Happy 25th birthday TOKYOPOP! For a quarter of a century TOKYOPOP has been bringing manga to North American readers, and so is no stranger to intellectual freedom issues around manga. But, really, what do manga publishers think about manga censorship? In February 2022, I had the chance to ask that and many more questions to one of the most notable publishers of manga in North America! So, let us meet Kae Winters and hear what TOKYOPOP has to say.
As coordinated censorship attempts spread across the country, understanding who and what these conservative organizations represent is an important piece toward preventing further threats to intellectual freedom in the U.S.
A common concern among librarians and other information professionals is how to handle materials written by individuals wrapped up in some type of controversy, whether that be political statements they have made publicly, crimes or misconduct that they have been accused of, or where they have donated or invested their money. This post will summarize a Q&A that provides guidance selecting, weeding and addressing challenges to these types of materials.
Book challenges have been a hot topic in news and politics lately. The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board recently released a statement affirming its opposition to widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. Schools. OIF has tracked 155 unique censorship incidents between June 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021. With the high volume of challenges right now, OIF has made available a clearinghouse of resources on its Fight Censorship page.
“The Culture War Has Come for Higher Ed,” proclaimed a recent headline in The Chronicle of Higher Education, summarizing ongoing attacks on intellectual freedom and the closely related concept of academic freedom. Although the same risks apply to academic libraries and librarians, they are often excluded from this discussion about freedoms required for teaching and research. Recognizing that academic librarians have academic freedom is only the first step, albeit an important one.
The Supreme Court has decided that schools have an interest in keeping an eye on what students post on social media sites in order to avoid “substantial disruption” on campus. But just where does campus end and how disrupting must speech be for schools to act and stay on the right side of the First Amendment?
The law is clear: employers get to decide whether or not an employee’s latest Tweet is grounds for termination and the First Amendment, though meant to be a shield from government overreach, is no shield from private consequence.
Dan Rather, veteran journalist and author of the book What Unites Us: Reflections of Patriotism, sat down with Adult editor for Booklist Donna Seaman to discuss his book and the important role libraries play in sustaining our democracy. Their discussion also touched on the importance of funding libraries, the free and independent press, and science literacy.
This month, 129 years after his birth and almost 82 years after the adoption of the Library Bill of Rights, it seems fitting to remember the work done by Forrest Spaulding in creating a bold and straightforward document that continues to inform the library profession in the United States and around the world.