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.
ALA policies and statements are critical in the defense against threats to intellectual freedom. For this reason, it is crucial to understand not only the contemporary and practical resources provided by the ALA but also the historical and theoretical contexts informing current policies. The tenth edition of A History of ALA Policy on Intellectual Freedom provides an important history of ALA policy related to intellectual freedom.
The ALA Executive Board and the Boards of Directors for all of ALA’s eight divisions have released a joint statement opposing widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. schools and libraries.
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.
Agenda-driven books regarding COVID-19 and vaccines are appearing as top results on retail searches. Those of you who have worked library reference are most likely accustomed to patrons showing you an Amazon page on their phone asking “can you get me this book?” Performing a book search for “COVID-19” via both Amazon and Barnes and Noble shows books suggesting debunked conspiracy theories within the first ten results. Additionally, searches on OCLC WorldCat reveal that books with such misleading or debunked information wind up on the shelves of public, college, and high school libraries.
On November 16th, members of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee voted and approved the document “Access to Digital Resources and Services Q&A.”
A how-to overview for libraries adopting discovery systems that include user-generated content like reviews or comments, with special attention to implications of recent litigation against @theRealDonaldTrump twitter account.
Expurgating library materials is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights. Expurgation includes any deletion, excision, alteration, editing, or obliteration of any part(s) of books or other library resources by the library, its agent, or its parent institution.
Ultimately, when it comes to a fundamental right like reading, all prisoners should have equal access regardless of ability to pay. As I have argued before, reading can play an important role in educating and rehabilitating those prisoners who want to reform. When we place barriers to information between prisoners and rehabilitation, I would argue that they aren’t the only ones who pay – we all do.
Banned Books Week is September 22-28, 2019. Get ready to help your students celebrate their intellectual freedom rights by creating various activities to learn more about censoring books, silencing history, restricting education, and more.