In many recent high profile book challenges, parents and politicians have asserted that they know best when it comes to selecting and deselecting library materials, but librarians go through significant training to develop relevant and appropriate collections.
One of the main talking points you’ll see again and again when it comes to fighting book challenges is that you should be able to back up any purchase you make with your collection development policy. Many collection development policies cite professional review sources as one of the major ways library staff find quality materials to add to their collection. For library staff that work with youth, School Library Journal (SLJ) is a go-to professional review source. That’s why SLJ put together the webinar: From Book Submission to SLJ Star: Insight on the School Library Journal review process to explain what goes into their reviews. For this webinar Shelly Diaz, Reviews Editor for School Library Journal, is joined by Mahnaz Dar, Senior Editor, Professional Reading & Reference for SLJ, Ashley Leffel a middle school librarian and reviewer for SLJ, and Kiera Parrott, former Reviews Director for SLJ and LJ.
Are you attending the American Library Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition this year in Washington D.C.? Keep reading for the intellectual freedom & censorship highlights at this year’s Annual.
ALA and IMLS have collaborated on a long awaited project called the Privacy Field Guides. Each guide includes an introduction to the topic and several exercises for library workers to implement change within their library. All of these exercises have all been tested in the real-world too.
Guest Post by David Sohn, Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens (C&C). Ideally, students learn to access, move, re-share, and re-use creative content in all kinds of ways that are legal and ethical; they also know the rules of the road for producing their own creative works. Yet teaching copyright in a way that encourages and promotes free expression can be a significant challenge. Copyright is a complicated legal subject with significant gray areas. Teachers may feel ill-equipped to cover it with their students.
Educators need a set of copyright lessons that is easy to use and that gives plenty of attention to concepts such as fair use, the public domain, and Creative Commons: accessible materials that focus on what copyright enables and permits, not just what it prohibits.
Do you know about the I Love My Librarian! Award? In many cases, awards and scholarships are decided by other librarians or library workers. In this case, I Love My Librarian! allows library users to recognize their favorite librarians.
In light of recent attacks on the rights of LGTBQIA+ individuals and an increasingly toxic political environment, it’s doubtful that these concerted efforts to censor the speech of others will fade away anytime soon. Furthermore, librarians and their professional commitment to creating learning environments free from censorship almost certainly guarantees that they will face further challenges. Thus, the intention behind this list, even if it’s not entirely successful in communicating the breadth of ALA resources, is to provide a starting point for further exploration of intellectual freedom and the ways in which we, as librarians, can better advocate not only ourselves, but our communities as well.
Although diversity and representation have long been core tenets of the library profession, recent research in racial trauma and lasting physical, psychological, and social effects reinforces the unique role of the librarian in serving youth communities.
The ALA Annual Conference offers numerous opportunities to explore and celebrate intellectual freedom. This post highlights fourteen intellectual freedom-themed conference sessions, including live panel discussions and on-demand sessions, the Intellectual Freedom Awards Celebration, and business meetings. As you plan your #ALAAC21 calendar, consider adding these sessions to your schedule!
The Resolution to Condemn White Supremacy and Fascism as Antithetical to Library Work was adopted during ALA Midwinter 2021. The resolution calls on ALA to “commit to explicitly incorporating existing and developing antiracist and antifascist frameworks.” But are Ibram X. Kendi’s approach to antiracism and Robin DiAngelo’s concept of white fragility the only methods to inform ALA’s antiracist frameworks? Not if these BIPOC thinkers can help it.