Intellectual Freedom Stories from a Shifting Landscape—eEditions e-book

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Price: 
$40.00
ALA Member 
$36.00
Item Number: 
7400-7265
Published: 
2020
Publisher: 
ALA Editions
Pages: 
208
Format: 
eBook
  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors

Intellectual freedom is a complex concept that democracies and free societies around the world define in different ways but always strive to uphold. And ALA has long recognized the crucial role that libraries play in protecting this right. But what does it mean in practice? How do library workers handle the ethical conundrums that often accompany the commitment to defending it? Rather than merely laying out abstract policies and best practices, this important new collection gathers real-world stories of intellectual freedom in action to illuminate the difficulties, triumphs, and occasional setbacks of advocating for free and equal access to information for all people in a shifting landscape. Offering insight to LIS students and current practitioners on how we can advance the profession of librarianship while fighting censorship and other challenges, these personal narratives explore such formidable situations as

  • presenting drag queen story times in rural America;
  • a Black Lives Matter “die-in” at the undergraduate library of the University of Wisconsin-Madison;
  • combating censorship at a prison library;
  • hosting a moderated talk about threats to modern democracy that included a neo-Nazi spokesman;
  • a provocative exhibition that triggered intimidating phone calls, emails, and a threat to burn down an art library;  
  • calls to eliminate non-Indigenous children’s literature from the collection of a tribal college library; and
  • preserving patrons’ right to privacy in the face of an FBI subpoena.

These stories provide a rich platform for debate and introspection by sharing real-world examples that library staff, administrators, board members, and students can consider and discuss.  

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.

Foreword: Storytelling for Advocacy, by Janice Del Negro
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Advocating for Intellectual Freedom through Storytelling

Part I        Protected by Policy
Chapter 1    Give Them Library Cards!
Carrie Valdes

Chapter 2    The Vitruvian Man and a Threat to Burn Down the Art Library
Megan Lotts

Chapter 3    Adventures in Book Court
Sandra Parks

Reflection Questions for Part I

Part II         Public Events
Chapter 4    Black Lives Matter Die-In: Library Space as an Intellectual Freedom Issue
Raina Bloom and Carrie Kruse

Chapter 5    Exposing a Community: Drag Queen Storytime in Rural America
Jennifer Stickles

Chapter 6    Did We Just Normalize Extreme Views and Make the Library an Unsafe Place?
Daniel Forsman

Reflection Questions for Part II

Part III    Difficult Conversations
Chapter 7    A Library’s Response(ability) in #MeToo
Leah Shlachter

Chapter 8    Promoting Intellectual Freedom through a Social Book Group
James Allen Davis and Hadiya Evans

Reflection Questions for Part III

Part IV    Institutional Decisions
Chapter 9    The Storage Closet
Shana Chartier

Chapter 10    The Fox and the Hedgehog: When Libraries are behind Bars
Erin Boyington

Chapter 11    Widely Read Teens Become Well-Rounded Adults
Lisa Hoover

Chapter 12    Y Colorín Colorado, Este Cuento Se Ha Acabado [Snip, Snap, Snout, This Tale’s Told Out]
Carme Fenoll Clarabuch

Reflection Questions for Part IV

Part V        Patrons Challenging Material
Chapter 13    Transgender Children’s Books in the Public Library
Tom Taylor

Chapter 14    Restoring EBSCO: The Power of Coalition and Rapid Response
Rebekah Cummings and Peter Bromberg

Chapter 15    “Bullshit Hatred from Cover to Cover”: Islamophobia in The Age of Trump
Lorena Neal

Chapter 16    Anywhere USA
Joan Airoldi

Reflection Questions for Part V

Part VI    Cultural Sensitivity
Chapter 17    “Just Get Rid of Them”: American Indian Children’s Literature in the Tribal College Library
Rhiannon Sorrell

Chapter 18    Censorship and Sensibility
Lara Aase

Reflection Questions for Part VI

Conclusion: The Work Continues
About the Contributors
Index

Valerie Nye

Valerie Nye is the Library Director at the Santa Fe Community College. She previously worked as a library director at the Institute of American Indian Arts and as a library consultant at the New Mexico State Library, where she started researching and training others on intellectual freedom and banned books. She has coedited a book with Kathy Barco, True Stories of Censorship Battles in America’s Libraries, and a literary research guide with R. Neil Scott, Postmarked Milledgeville: A Guide to Flannery O'Connor's Correspondence in Libraries and Archives. She currently serves on the board of Amigos Library Services and holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)

ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is charged with implementing the intellectual freedom policies of the American Library Association through educating librarians and the public about the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association's basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. In order to meet its educational goals, the Office undertakes information, support, and coordination activities.

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