Plug: Intellectual freedom: Fundamentals and Current Events

Just a quick note, I am teaching a one-day continuing education class at Simmons’ Mount Holyoke campus on Sunday afternoon, March 30th. The topic is Intellectual Freedom, basically providing the foundations of the idea and then going over current topic type issues that we’ve seen in libraryland lately. Here’s the official description. If you’re in need of CE credits or just want a refresher, feel free to sign up.

The importance of intellectual freedom is a cornerstone of modern librarianship in the US, and yet for many people is only understood as an abstract idea. This workshop will cover the foundations of intellectual freedom in American librarianship and provide concrete examples of how the concept applies to today’s library environment.

We will look at the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and state library privacy laws as well as legislation which abridges the freedoms of library workers and library users. We will discuss the thorny issues that arise when intellectual freedom principles conflict with local practices and cultures and ways to unpack and address those issues. Social software and its implications for intellectual freedom in libraries will be another facet we will address. Participants will gain an understanding of ALA’s work laying down the foundation for intellectual freedom and leave with concrete examples of IF in action in today’s libraries.

3 thoughts on “Plug: Intellectual freedom: Fundamentals and Current Events

  1. How does the ALA handle a story such as “Librarian fired for reporting child pornography” at this website? Was Judy Hill justified in firing this librarian, or did he interpret the ALA intellectual freedom policy incorrectly? If she is justified, how is it possible for an organization to have a policy in place that would cause some of it’s employees to act in an illeagal manner?

  2. I think the story you are referring to was blown out of proportion by the Worldnet Daily people and I think there’s more to the story. From what I understand from reading that article, the Library Journal article and a few related news stories, of *course* she shouldn’t have been fired unless there is something that I am misunderstanding.

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