ALA News: Intellectual Freedom

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As library people, our code of ethics pushes us to strongly respect and defend the intellectual freedom of the communities we serve. You can see this commitment across the American Library Association, including at the Office of Intellectual Freedom.

CMLE Headquarters likewise is passionate about this topic, so we are passing on some news from the ALA. We are copying their material here this month so you can see what is going on right now; but you can always go to their site yourself and get familiar with the issues facing us across the profession. You do not need to be an ALA member – this is for all of us in libraries to know and to share.

We are the guardians of free access to information for our communities; it’s not a responsibility to take lightly. Let’s all get familiar with these topics, so we are ready before problems come to our library!

Scroll down to the bottom (or read all the way through!), and consider signing up for the training offered in January: How to Respond to a Security Incident in Your Library.

Intellectual Freedom Highlights

  • Virginia Library Association concerns about proposed amendment to 8VAC-131-270; “The Virginia Library Association, representing more than 1,000 members from academic, public, special and school libraries across the Commonwealth, is a leading advocate for intellectual freedom, including the freedom to read as a basic tenet. We write to express our reservations about a proposed amendment to 8VAC-131-270, which will require public schools to ‘include a notice to parents identifying any sexually explicit materials that may be included in the course, the textbook, or any supplemental instructional materials.’ We believe the proposed requirement is nearly identical to the requirements contained in HB 516, which was vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in the spring. Aside from the First Amendment concerns this proposed amendment raises, we also believe it threatens the quality of education for students across the Commonwealth. We strongly encourage the Department to reject the adoption of this proposed regulation.”
  • A deep conversation about binary thinking | Reading While White (blog); “I like having conversations that dig deep into ways in which books are problematic and ways in which they are empowering. I learn so much from these conversations. And when I read criticism or critique of something I love (even something I love as much as Hamilton!)—it actually doesn’t ruin it for me. It makes me grateful that I have the chance to learn something new.”
  • Get ready to fight for what matters | Insider Higher Ed; “This is not the time for appeasement. If we truly believe in our values, if they’re more than feel-good slogans, we must commit ourselves to fighting for them.”




Net Neutrality

Hate Speech & Libraries

First Amendment Issues

Around the Web

Office for Intellectual Freedom

ALA News

Read the Intellectual Freedom Blog
Intellectual Freedom Webinars

One thought on “ALA News: Intellectual Freedom”

  1. one of the coolest organizational departments in the world has one of the worst (and most ironic) websites.

    coolest organizational department in the world (or close enough) is the office of intellectual freedom. the web address should and could be its actually — otherwise you get this message:

    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.

    ok, thats pretty funny. but trust me, someone can fix this. also PLEASE add some to the site. theres no reason you shouldnt be able to read the oif site in a browser that doesnt support js– even if it has less content.

    that said, i cant think of anything cooler than an “office of intellectual freedom.” i always salute the ala, and i always point to the ala as an example of what issues all libraries should be paying more attention to– all the more reason the oif website should work without specifying or linking to the /oif folder in the url. believe it or not, people still type in addresses without other paths. they should get to the oif website if it has a subdomain, not a “forbidden” message, of all things.

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