Happy Birthday OIF! I will be teaching a half-day continuing education seminar at Simmons on Intellectual Freedom and I have been digging through their extensive website for primary documentation and remembering just how extensive and excellent it is. Intellectual freedom principles were one of the major things that brought me to librarianship and THE thing responsible for my sticking with it. I am proud of the work the ALA does to support intellectual freedom, though the challenges are still coming far too quickly for my tastes and I worry about ALA’s ability to keep up with IF topics in a digital world that they still don’t seem to quite understand. One of the things I do on Wikipedia is keep the Library Bill of Rights free from soapboxing and point-of-view hectoring. It’s a tougher job than you might think.
And while I bitch and complain about the name “Banned Books Week” every year [and the BBW acronym just continues to amuse] and think that “Free People Read Freely ®” is some sort of Orwellian catchphrase, there are some people doing some nifty things for BBW on the web. I’m not sure what happened to the logo thing that ALA was doing last year, I sort of liked it. The Office of Intellectual Freedom blog entry has some of the best information about how ALA is moving in to social spaces to discuss and promote BBW.
- The Hatcher Graduate Library in Ann Arbor Michigan has made a Flickr photoset of their staff reading banned books. Here’s how they announced it on their website.
- Amnesty International has a page outlining people who got in serious trouble for their writings. This isn’t taking Harry Potter off the shelves, this is getting jailed or killed for speaking out.
- Google Book Search is doing its part. I know a lot of people have weird feelings about Google moving towards something that looks more like an OPAC but I think we should be more concerned that everything they put on the web, pretty much outranks everything everyone else puts on the web.
- The ACLU of Texas has issued a report discussing the status of challenged books in Texas schools (link goes to 2006 report, new one due out real soon now) in the last year. It’s interesting reading. As a result of challenges sixteen books were removed from school shelves entirely including Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and a book on how to draw manga.
Feel free to include other projects in the comments here, this is just a few links I enjoyed and thought merited further attention.