Intellectual Freedom

Affirm the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, Sept. 21 – 27, 2014

CHICAGO — It may surprise some to find out there are hundreds of reported attempts to ban books every year in the United States. It may be even more astounding for them to hear that since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has received reports of more than 18,000 attempts to remove materials in schools and libraries for content deemed by some as inappropriate, controversial or even dangerous.

Free Banned Books Week webinar at noon ET on Sept. 24

CHICAGO—Travel to London, South Carolina, Texas and California to learn about efforts to un-ban books by attending the free webinar, "Regional Issues for Banned Books in 2014."

In 2013, there were hundreds of reported requests for books to be removed from America’s libraries, potentially putting those volumes out of reach of students, readers and learners of all types.  While every corner of the map faces unique issues related to library censorship, these issues also catalyze passionate freedom-to-read advocates dedicated to getting the books back on library shelves.

Call for events: Organizations invited to post events for Banned Books Week, Sept. 21-27

CHICAGO — The Executive Committee of Banned Books Week invites organizations and individuals, such as libraries, authors, publishers, bookstores and schools, to share how they are celebrating 2014’s Banned Books Week.  This year’s Banned Books Week, which is taking place from Sept. 21-27, will shine a light on comics and graphic novels. The committee has created a simple form on bannedbooksweek.org to which organizations can post their activities.

FTRF to award two scholarships for 'Intellectual Freedom and Censorship' LIS course

CHICAGO The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) will provide two scholarships to interested Library & Information Science (LIS) students for “Intellectual Freedom and Censorship,” a two-credit online course taking place Aug. 26–Oct. 10, 2014.

Information governance and security

CHICAGO — Written by Alan MacLennan, “Information Governance and Assurance: Reducing Risk, Promoting Policy,” published by Facet Publishing and available through the ALA Store, is a comprehensive textbook that discusses the legal, organizational and ethical aspects of information governance and information security and their relevance to all aspects of information work.

75th anniversary of the Library Bill of Rights

CHICAGO — Seventy-five years ago at the 1939 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, the ALA Council adopted the Library’s Bill of Rights, echoing the spirit of a document from the Des Moines Public Library in 1938. This document, refreshed in 1944, 1948, 1961, 1967, 1980 and 1996, remains the library profession’s major policy document on intellectual freedom. 

Over-filtering in schools and libraries harms education, new ALA report finds

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Schools and libraries nationwide are routinely filtering internet content far more than what the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires, according to “Fencing Out Knowledge: Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later (pdf),” a report released today by the American Library Association (ALA). CIPA requires public libraries and K-12 schools to employ internet filtering software to receive certain federal funding.

Banned Books Week 2014 celebrates graphic novels

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA), with the national Banned Books Week planning committee, today announced that this year's celebration of the freedom to read will emphasize a thematic focus on comics and graphic novels.   This year's Banned Books Week, Sept. 21 – 27, will shine a light on this still misunderstood form of storytelling and will celebrate the value of graphic novels to readers from all walks of life through the work performed by Banned Books Week sponsors and individual librarians, retailers and readers from all over the world.  

John 'Mack' Freeman awarded 2014 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship

CHICAGO — The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) has selected John "Mack" Freeman, a public librarian in Georgia, as the seventh recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship. The Conable Scholarship will provide for Freeman's expenses to attend the 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

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