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.

email @ your library, and a request

I often tell people after my talks to email me their questions if they’re longer than I can reasonably answer during a quick after-talk chat session. A librarian from New Hampshire emailed me yesterday to ask about the email classes I’ve taught, both in the library and in the adult ed classes I teach at nights. I wrote her a long chatty email about the ins and outs of teaching email classes mostly to older adults. Then I figured I’d copy it over and linkt o it here. Then I figured I’d include it a few different ways so that readers could see a few ways you can get content on the web, instantly. For those of you who just want to read about my email classes, any of these will work.

  • email class on Jottit – a very smooth interface where you get a subdomain of your choosing and can put text there. You can do this short-term or own your page wiht the addition of a password and an email address to send a lost password. Brainchild of Aaron Swartz
  • email class on pasta mostly just a text box that you can paste words into that will automatically link it to your account. I’ve used this for years and while there is no guaratnee, it often fits the bill for text I don’t want to dump directly on the blog but want to be able to talk about.
  • email class on – lets you post as text, rich text or “message board” and pick a URL starting with For a small donation you can own the URL for some length of time. Pretty basic but functional

And my question. I say in the email that I’d really like a “getting started with email” book, something totally brand-neutral that just discusses email concepts and mechanisms. I don’t care if there are branded examples, but I’m not looking for a “how to use Yahoo mail” tutorial and I’m looking for PRINT though I know I can print out a website. So, I can Google like anyone, but does such a simple book exist? I’m feeling maybe it could even be a pamphlet that if it doesn’t exist, might be better off being created one of these days.