A report on a couple of Intellectual Freedom panels at American Library Association’s Annual Conference
So, what do patients do when they can’t get the information that they need? Well, they look elsewhere. The place they look? The library. One study reported that 60% of survey participants stated that libraries were among their preferred sources of health information.
The internet has fueled our modern Information Age – a time when access to information is automatic and universal. But this touchstone for democratized knowledge has a dark past, and an even scarier present.
Americans can exercise unique freedom of speech rights granted by the first amendment of the US constitution. But can we expect to exercise these freedoms on the websites that have increasingly dominated our channels for communication?
Pro tip #1: Delete your Facebook. No, really. Delete it.
Like a vague, passive-aggressive post on the social media site itself, Facebook changed its terms of service for a whopping 1.4 billion users without warning.
According to Twitter’s Rules, “You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.” The policy has already been enforced against several high-profile accounts, including the leaders of the far-right Britain First party.
Violating Blogspot’s terms of service led to shutting down an artist’s blog with no notice. Many are crying censorship. Is there any sort of recourse when a company owns the platform that’s being used?
Earlier this month, Blogspot suspended artist and writer Dennis Cooper’s blog that he had maintained for the last 14 years with no notice. Cooper has hired a lawyer and made several complaints to Google. The compaints have gone unanswered. The blog remains removed.
As librarians, we need to take a queue from social culture and use it to advance our profession by looking at what attracts people in today’s world and creating that attraction focusing on libraries. The way we share information is continuously changing. Think about how information was exchanged ten years ago….emails, online searches, Youtube. These are all still relevant sources but the way we receive information has changed, and it’s all done within the parameters of fair use by using small clips or images and transforming them into a completely new product.