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.
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.
For the first time, the Intellectual Freedom Awards were presented in a joint awards ceremony. The awards given are: Robert P. Downs Award, the Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award, the John Philip Immroth Award, and the Freedom to Read Foundation Honor Roll. Learn more about this past year’s intellectual freedom powerhouses here.
As libraries undertake important DEI and social justice work, questions arise about complicity, censorship, privacy, and the chilling effect. Frosty Windows, Frosty Mirrors will feature expert panelists discussing their current thinking and practice on these important and challenging issues. After the panel, attendees will have the opportunity to share their perspectives with panelists in break-out room listening sessions. Seats are filling up fast – register today!