School librarians called to raise awareness of the impact of filtering on student learning

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/25/2012

Contact:

Jennifer Habley
Manager, Web Communications
American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
800-545-2433 ext.4383
jhabley@ala.org

CHICAGO — The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has designated Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, as the second annual Banned Websites Awareness Day. To raise awareness of the overly restrictive blocking of legitimate, educational websites and academically useful social networking tools in schools and school libraries, AASL designates one day during Banned Books Week as Banned Websites Awareness Day.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, AASL asks school librarians and other educators to promote an awareness of how overly restrictive filtering affects student learning. To facilitate this, the AASL website offers a variety of resources and tools to share how the overly restrictive filtering of educational websites and social media sites impacts student learning. The AASL website also includes a Web banner and Web badge available for download. Both graphics features the AASL Banned Websites Awareness Day logo.

In honor of Banned Websites Awareness Day, AASL will present the complementary webinar, “How to be a Ninja Warrior Filter Fighter!” Taking place at 6 p.m. Central time on Wednesday, Oct. 3, presenter Gwyneth Jones will focus on how overly restrictive filtering affects student learning and what school librarians can do to fight restrictive filtering in their schools.  Jones, aka The Daring Librarian, is a middle school teacher librarian, a blogger, a Tweeter, a public speaker, a citizen of Social Media and a resident of Second Life. The webinar is complimentary but registration is required and space is limited.   Registrations will be accepted until noon on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

“What would James Madison, the father of the Constitution and author of the Bill of Rights, say about Banned Website Awareness Day?,” asks Susan Ballard, AASL president. “Maybe he would remind us that ‘A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.’ We know that we want our students to be their own governors, critical thinkers and involved, informed citizens. In this digital age, it is more critically important than ever to be reminded that in order to help young people responsibly and successfully navigate the Web, we must arm them with the power that open, yet guided, access to ideas and information resources will provide. “

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.