Friday, July 16, 2010

The Intellectual Freedom Committee met Friday, July 16, 2010, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Criss Library. We welcome your suggestions for Banned Book Week activities. Banned Book Week is October September 25-October 2, 2010.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Upcoming ALA Intellectual Freedom Events

ALA and various ALA divisions are presenting a variety of IF events this year. Some that may interest you are:


Program at 2009 ALA Annual Conference (Chicago, IL) - “Minors’ Rights in School Library Media Centers”; Saturday, July 11, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Preconference at 2009 AASL National Conference (Charlotte, NC) - “Law for School Librarians: Knowing Minors’ Rights”; Thursday, Nov. 5


Program at 2009 ALA Annual Conference (Chicago, IL) - “Academic and Intellectual Freedom Climate on Campus—Are our Freedoms Secure in the Next Generation?”; Saturday, July 11, 3:30-5:30 p.m.


Preconference at 2009 ALA Annual Conference (Chicago, IL) - ” ALSC Preconference- Meeting the Challenge: Practical Tips & Inspiring Tales on Intellectual Freedom”; Friday, July 10, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Co-sponsoring program with GLBTRT @ 2009 ALA Annual Conference (Chicago, IL) - ” What Makes Tango So Scary? Serving Your Whole Library Population, Intellectual Freedom, and Censorship of LGBT Children’s Books”; Sunday, July 12, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Program at 2009 ALA Annual Conference (Chicago, IL) - “Change is in the Air: How Intellectual Freedom Affects You in Your Library”; Saturday, July 11, 10:30-noon


Two programs on privacy at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference (Chicago, IL)

“The Secret Life of Our Data: Privacy in the Digital Age” - Saturday, July 11, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m., RUSA STARS

“Who Cares About Privacy? Boundaries, Millennials and the MySpace Mindset” - Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. - noon, RUSA MARS


Coordinating 2009 ALA Annual Conference Program (Chicago, IL): “Walk the Line: The Fine Line Between Selection and Censorship” - Monday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. This is a joint AASL/ALSC/YALSA program.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Considering Censorship?

Intellectual Freedom, a library in Alaska and politics ....sounds like a news story that should be mentioned here! A September 2, 2008 New York Times article "Palin's Start in Alaska: Not Politics As Usual" includes accounts of Sarah Palin, newly elected in 1996 as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, approaching the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books. Later Palin fired the librarian and then reinstated her. Sarah Palin is now the Republican candidate for Vice President. Is this story of any importance? Do you know of other high profile individuals that have at the very least publicly flirted with impinging upon Intellectual Freedom? Let us know if you have. We're collecting news stories for our discussion session at the NLA/NEMA conference in October and we're always looking for a good exchange of opinions!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Printable One State, One Banned Book 8"x11 1/2"

Angels Theatre Group will be doing reading from banned books during banned books week. Spread the word by downloading a poster with event dates and times for Lincoln and Omaha locations. There will also be events in Norfolk and Alliance; seperate posters will be downloadable when dates are definite.
Let us know what you have planned!

Friday, August 29, 2008

2008 One State, One Banned Book

Or should that be One Nebraska Three Banned Books?

We have selected the second year's choices for Banned Books week-September 27-October 4, 2008.
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus -Barbara Park
The Golden Compass -Philip Pullman
The Catcher in the Rye -J.D. Salinger

For a flyer, please download the PDF: 2008 One State, One Banned Book (which will be linked Monday. :))

Monday, June 9, 2008

Test Your Library Legal IQ

The Smallville Public Library opened its doors at their new building on February 1, 2008. The library has three public meeting rooms and makes each available to the public during operational hours. The library’s goal in making these rooms available is “to encourage the use of library meeting rooms for educational, cultural, and community related meetings, programs and activities.” The library’s meeting room policy states that “non-profit and civic organization, for-profit organizations, schools and government organizations may use the space for meetings, programs or activities of educational, cultural or community interest.” The library regulates the meeting rooms in the following ways:

1. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
2. The applicant must submit and application that identifies the applicant and the purpose of the meeting.
3. Access to the meeting room is contingent upon approval by the library staff.
4. A fee must be paid when a meeting is not open to the general public, when it charges an admission fee, or when it involves sales or solicitation.
5. Schools may not utilize a meeting room for instructional purposes as a regular part of the curriculum.
6. Rooms may not be used for religious services.

On June 1, 2008, the Miniseries of Faith Evangelical Church completed an application for three separate meeting rooms on three separate days. The first meeting was entitled “Wordshop” and was described as follows: “The Making of an Intercessor, an endtime call to prayer for every believer, and how to pray fervent, effectual prayers that God hears and answers.” Wordshop was devoted to the topic of communication and how to communicate effectively with one’s god. The second meeting was called “Praise and Worship” and included a sermon by the church’s pastor. This meeting involved pure religious services. The third meeting was a Bible study. It was described as “A gathering of readers engaged in an in-depth study of the Holy Bible.”

Should the Smallville Public Library allow the Ministries of Faith Evangelical Church access to the meeting rooms for any or all of the three meetings upon payment of the required fee?

Note: This scenario is hypothetical although not without legal premise. Please post your comments and questions.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Test Your Library Legal IQ

John Smith and Sally Jones are employees of the Litigious Public Library. John and Sally are involved in an association called the “Good News Librarians” and posted a flyer on a bulletin board next to the refrigerator in the employee lounge. As stated in the flyer, the Good News Librarians call on individuals to “preserve our workplace with integrity” and “is a forum for people of faith to express their views on contemporary issues of the day with respect for the natural family, marriage, and family values.” The Good News Librarians also “oppose all views that seek to redefine the natural family and marriage.” In fact, in its “Statement of Faith”, the Good News Librarians explain that “we believe the natural family is defined as a man and a woman, their children by birth or adoption, or the surviving remnant thereof (including single parents)” and that “we believe in family values that promote abstinence, marriage, fidelity in marriage and devotion to our children.”

The flyer came to the attention of Tiffany Weeks, a lesbian employed by Litigious Public Library who used the refrigerator by which the flyer was posted. Shortly after seeing the flyer, she spoke with John Smith about the flyer. After the conversation she decided to complain to the city attorney’s office. The library’s branch manager worked with the city attorney to investigate the allegations. The city attorney eventually ordered the branch manager to take the flyer down. Were John and Sally’s first amendment rights violated?

Other things to think about:

What if the flyer was posted on a bulletin board near the front doors of the library?
What if the flyer was not posted at all, but rather offered to library employees during lunch or break?
What if John and Sally handed out the flyers outside the front doors of the library on their days off?
What if John and Sally e-mailed the flyers to all library employees?

Note: This scenario is hypothetical although not without legal premise. Please post your comments and questions.