Wednesday, October 4, 2023
To raise awareness of the overly restrictive blocking of legitimate, educational websites and academically useful social networking tools in schools and school libraries, AASL has designated one day during Banned Books Week as Banned Websites Awareness Day. To mark the day, AASL asks school librarians and other educators to promote an awareness of how overly restrictive filtering affects student learning.
Usually the public thinks of censorship in relation to books, however there is a growing censorship issue in schools and school libraries – overly restrictive filtering of educational websites reaching far beyond the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Students, teachers, and school librarians in many schools are frustrated daily when they discover legitimate educational websites blocked by filtering software installed by their school.
Filtering websites does the next generation of digital citizens a disservice. Students must develop skills to evaluate information from all types of sources in multiple formats, including the Internet. Relying solely on filters does not teach young citizens how to be savvy searchers or how to evaluate the accuracy of information.
Over extensive filtering also extends to the use of online social networking sites such as FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, etc. In order to make school more relevant to students and enhance their learning experiences, educators need to be able to incorporate those same social interactions that are successful outside of school into authentic assignments in the school setting. Unfortunately, filters implemented by school districts also block many of the social networking sites.
Intellectual Freedom related posts on Knowledge Quest
Cyber Safety & Ethics Workshops, Savvy Cyber Kids
Don't Filter Me Project, American Civil Liberties Union
Don’t Leave Students in the Dark, OIF Blog
Embed Codes and Library Web Sites, Knowledge Quest
How Internet Filtering Hurts Kids, The Atlantic (subscription may be required)
Internet Filters from the National Coalition Against Censorship
“Filtering beyond CIPA: Consequences of and Alternatives to Overfiltering in Schools” Knowledge Quest 44, no.1
"Filtering Texas-Style: An Interview with Michael Gras and Scott Floyd" Knowledge Quest 39, no.1
Filtering and the First Amendment by Deborah Caldwell-Stone with "Snapshot of Filtering in School Libraries" by Helen R. Adams
Minors and Online Activity: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, American Library Association
"The Next Book Ban: States Aim to Limit Titles Students Can Search For," The Washington Post
State Internet Filtering Laws, National Conference of State Legislatures
The AASL Banned Websites Awareness Day logo is available for download and use by educational institutions, or by individuals for educational purposes, under the following guidelines:
- The logo may not be altered. The user is permitted to resize the logo but all markings and the logo in its entirety must be maintained.
If the logo is used for any commercial product permission must be requested formally by contacting AASL.
Click each thumbnail for larger, downloadable image:
National Promotional Partners
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF)
National Association of State Educational Media Professionals (NASTEMP)
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
State Promotional Partners
Alaska Association of School Librarians (AkASL)
Connecticut Association of School Librarians (CASL)
Hawaii Association of School Librarians (HASL)
Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA)
Iowa Association of School Librarians (IASL)
Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL)
Massachusetts School Library Association (MASL)
New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL)
New York Library Association/Section of School Librarians (NYLA/SSL)
Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA)
Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA)
South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL)
Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL)
Wisconsin Educational Media Association (WEMTA)
For more information regarding BWAD Promotional Partners contact Allison cline at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-280-4385.