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The Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association
Updated: 4 min 25 sec ago

2014 edition of “Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read” is now available at the ALA Store Online!

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 2:30pm
2014 Edition

2014 Edition

Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read, by Robert P. Doyle, is an essential reference for all who read, write, and work with books.  This updated and expanded 2014 edition, now available at the ALA Store Online, features a new, streamlined design that will make this an essential reference you’ll return to time and again.

Librarians, educators, students, and parents along with publishers, booksellers, writers, and readers interested in the current state of literary censorship in America–especially in our libraries and schools–will find this volume indispensable. This new edition of Banned Books by noted First Amendment advocate Robert P. Doyle details incidents of book bannings from 387 BC to 2014.

Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read provides a framework for understanding censorship and the protections guaranteed to us through the First Amendment. Interpretations of the uniquely American notion of freedom of expression–and our freedom to read what we choose–are supplemented by straightforward, easily accessible information that will inspire further exploration.

Contents include:

Insight–The Challenge of Censorship

Interpretation–The First Amendment, the Freedom of Expression, and the Freedom to Read

Information–First Amendment Timeline, Court Cases,. Glossary, Bibliography, Quotations, and Action Guide

Incidents–Top Ten Challenged Books of 2013 and Banned or Challenged Books–almost 2,000 titles listed alphabetically by author plus Title, Topical, and Geographic Indices.

Read a sample of the book!

Also available at the ALA Store is this year’s Banned Books Week campaign, which features the tagline “Have You Seen Us?”
BBW14_Set1_120x180
Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books from across the United States. Use these products to help emphasize the importance of the First Amendment and the power of uncensored literature.

For more information on how you can celebrate your freedom to read, check out ala.org/bbooks and bannedbooksweek.org.

 

Categories: Book News

IFAction News Roundup, July 27 – August 2, 2014

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 8:27am

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 27 – August 2, 2014.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Manassas [VA] case rekindles debate over penalties for ‘sexting’

Bucks County [PA] teacher whose blog made headlines is fired

Former CIA/NSA Boss Michael Hayden Admits Ed Snowden Was A Whistleblower

After CIA gets secret whistleblower email, Congress worries about more spying

3 Killed in a Facebook Blasphemy Rampage in Pakistan

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

FCC calls Verizon’s new data throttling plan a ‘disturbing’ development

Why one New Jersey school district killed its student laptop program

How the history of electricity explains municipal broadband

Duke Professors Looking To Make Legal Texts Affordable; Kicking Off With Intellectual Property Law

California’s digital divide still gaping

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

BitTorrent unveils NSA-proof online calling and messaging software

Think the Supreme Court protected your cellphone from warrantless searches? Think again.

Senators unveil bill to protect student privacy

Leahy Introduces Historic Bill To Ban NSA’s Dragnet Collection Of Americans’ Electronic Communications

Personal Privacy Is Only One of the Costs of NSA Surveillance

Categories: Book News

IFAction News Roundup, July 13 – July 19, 2014

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 11:32am

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 13 – July 19, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

E-mails show NSA monitored destruction of Snowden data at The Guardian

Appeals Court Rejects D.C. Teacher’s Speech-Retaliation Suit

Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

After public outcry, Singapore backpedals on destruction of 2 gay-themed book titles

VA uses patient privacy to go after whistleblowers, critics say

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Keeping Track of the Open Internet Comments Submitted to the FCC

FCC swamped with last-minute comments on net neutrality

Democrats push to make the Internet a utility

Net neutrality, a Trojan horse for increased government control of the Internet 

Close The Libraries And Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

NSA: Releasing Snowden Emails Would Violate His Privacy

$20M Facebook Ad Deal Violates Privacy Laws, Parents Say

UN Human Rights Report Confirms Government Surveillance Violates Privacy Rights

ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation Join Idaho Mom’s Legal Challenge to NSA Surveillance

NSA Responds To Snowden Claim That Intercepted Nude Pics ‘Routinely’ Passed Around By Employees

 

Categories: Book News

IFAction News Roundup, July 6 – July 12, 2014

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 5:11pm

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from July 6 – July 12, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Board removes book [The Miseducation of Cameron Post] from summer reading list [Lewes, DE]

Woman Loses Her Job of 24 Years For Giving Very Common Pleasantry to Customers [KY]

Franken: Net neutrality is ‘First Amendment issue of our time’ 

Google tells music website to censor album covers

Is there a second NSA leaker after Snowden? 

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Google’s Growing Silence on Saving Open Internet Leaves Fight to Startups

Dear Secretary Duncan: Net Neutrality is an Education Issue

‘A Threat to Internet Freedom’

Net Neutrality Survey Finds Fast Lane Support

What Do Kansas and Nebraska Have Against Small Libraries?

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Crypto weakness in smart LED lightbulbs exposes Wi-Fi passwords

LAPD Exposes Login To Data Harvesting Software During Interview With CNN

Why Facebook is beating the FBI at facial recognition

Latest Snowden leak: NSA, FBI targeted prominent US Muslims 

Richard Clarke on the Future of Privacy: Only the Rich Will Have It

Categories: Book News

Zoia Horn, library icon, dies at 96

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 3:07pm

Zoia Horn, who was chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee in the mid-70s and who spent 20 days in jail rather than testify in a trial involving anti-Vietnam War activists, died Saturday at the age of 96. Horn’s autobiography, Zoia!, is available online via Archive.org, and includes a copious accounting of her activism.  The California Library Association’s annual intellectual freedom award is named in her honor.

“She lived what she believed,” said Barbara Jones, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom.  “She didn’t just talk about intellectual freedom and the freedom to read. She was on the front lines her whole career. She was an idol to many, many librarians.”

Library Juice has a short obituary.  And here is a great 2002 profile of her in the San Francisco Chronicle, written in the wake of the passage Patriot Act.  It’s notable that even in her last days, she asked her daughter, Catherine Marrion, to contact OIF in order to bring attention to her opposition to the 1977 ALA film The Speaker.

Marrion has indicated that there will be a memorial service in Oakland next month. We will pass along details when they become available.

Categories: Book News

OIF Director Barbara Jones Asks Cape Henlopen School Board to restore book to summer reading list

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 3:09pm

Today Barbara Jones,  director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, sent a letter to the Cape Henlopen Board of Education in Delaware protesting their decision to remove emily m. danforth’s critically acclaimed young adult novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post from its ninth grade summer reading list. The novel, about a young lesbian’s coming of age in 1990′s Montana, was on a list developed by librarians across the state as recommended for incoming high school honors and college prep students.  The letter notes that the school board apparently did not follow its own reconsideration policy in removing the book from its list.

More details about the board’s decision to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post are available from the local newspaper, the Cape Gazette: Board removes book from summer reading list, and from the Diversity in YA blog.

See also author danforth’s response to the Board’s decision.

Update: The Delaware Library Association also has written a letter to the Cape Henlopen Board of Education, asking them to reconsider the decision to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post from the summer reading list.

Categories: Book News

IFAction News Roundup, June 29 – July 5, 2014

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:44pm

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from June 29 – July 5, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Ads prompt libraries to put newspaper out of sight [Detroit]

On the Next Docket: How the First Amendment Applies to Social Media

Feds Ignore First Amendment, Supreme Court Precedent In Seizing Domain Of Social Network For Sex Workers

YouTube reportedly in talks with indie labels to avoid blocking videos

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

ALA encourages next step in E-rate improvements

No-IP regains control of some domains wrested by Microsoft

Edtech Startups Protest FCC Proposal for ‘Two-Tiered Internet’

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Butler warns students, staff, alums of data breach [Indianapolis]

Facebook responds to criticism of its experiment on users

New Snowden docs: NSA spies on pretty much everyone abroad

Why a government watchdog says your phone calls are private, but your e-mails are not

Why cyber-insurance will be the next big thing

Categories: Book News

IFAction News Roundup, June 22 – 28, 2014

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 11:22pm

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from June 22 – June 28, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Clinic ‘Buffer Zone’ Law

Carnegie medal under fire after ‘vile and dangerous’ Bunker Diary wins

Celebrate the Freedom to Read With CBLDF’s New Banned Books Week Handbook!

North Korea threatens war on US over Kim Jong-un movie

Filtered-down access: an uncensored look at technology and the LGBT community

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Closing the Connectivity Gap

Gay Dem: Internet can be ‘salvation’

Mayors Strongly Back Network Neutrality

New York and Chicago Libraries Loan Hot Spots like Books

Aereo Defeat Sets Up Bigger, Broader Fight for TV

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Supreme Court Says Phones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant

Why the Supreme Court May Finally Protect Your Privacy in the Cloud

U.S. NSA granted extension to collect bulk phone data

Facial recognition proposal lacks privacy protections, advocate says

When a Health Plan Knows How You Shop

Categories: Book News

Monday intellectual freedom meetings & programs @ #ALAAC14

Sun, 06/29/2014 - 8:11pm

Here’s your daily list of must-do events at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

Monday, June 30

Now Showing @ ALA: The Speaker…A Film About Freedom

When: 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N242
Who: Cinephiles, cinephobes, idealists & contrarians
Why me?: In advance of IFC’s Monday program, “Speaking about ‘The Speaker’,” we invite you to join us at a screening of the 42-minute 1977 film produced by the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The film proved highly controversial within the Association. This will be a chance for you to see it for yourself and participate in a moderated discussion. It is also available on YouTube. A pathfinder of resources on the film and attendant controversy is available atwww.ala.org/tools/speaker.

Intellectual Freedom Round Table II

When: 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N201
Who: IFRT members and the member-curious
Why me?: IFRT is the ALA member’s best avenue for getting involved in the intellectual freedom activities of the American Library Association. Find out about the committees, programs, and other projects of the Round Table and lend your two cents to the discussion of IF issues faced by librarians, our communities, and the Association.

Information Manipulation Part II: Surveillance

When: 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N243
Who: All are welcome.  (Note: we won’t take notes on who is there.) Sponsored by the Committee on Legislation
Why me?:  What does the collection and retention of bulk phone records and other personal information mean for the public and for our library users? Is personal information and Internet access being managed and manipulated by the government and/private companies? Featuring Thomas Susman, Esq., American Bar Association, Director of Government Affairs. A panel of respondents include George Christian, Executive Director of Library Connection and one of the Connecticut Four involved in the FBI/NASA challenge, Vivian R. Wynn, President of Wynn Library Consulting and Chair of the ALA Committee on Legislation and others to discuss the challenges and implications.

Speaking About “The Speaker”

When: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Where: LVCC-N253
Who: Everyone who is interested in learning more about and discussing the 1977 ALA IFC-produced film, the process by which it was made, the controversy that swirled around it, and what it means for us today and in the future.
Why me?: This is definitely the must-attend program of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. We strongly suggest you peruse the pathfinder of resources created for this program and the film.

IFC V

When: 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: LVCC-N120
Who: Members of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, liaisons, and any member interested in participating in the final meeting of this committee of Council.
Why me?: This final meeting will feature discussions about Council resolutions and revisions to the interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights. A great way to spend a late Monday afternoon in Las Vegas!

Categories: Book News

Sunday intellectual freedom meetings & programs @ #ALAAC14

Sat, 06/28/2014 - 7:04pm

Here’s your daily list of must-do events at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

Sunday, June 29

Read A Banned Book at the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out (Day 2)

When: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Where: right outside the Exhibit Hall
Who: You!
Why me?: On Saturday and Sunday, SAGE and OIF invite you to the Banned Books Readout Booth, where you can read a short passage from your favorite banned book and then speak from the heart about why that book matters to you. Readings will be video recorded and will be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel during Banned Books Week, September 21-27, 2014. We strongly encourage you to bring your own copy of the book, but some books will be available for your reading.

Intellectual Freedom Committee/Committee on Legislation Joint Meeting

When: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N101
Who: Committee members & anyone interested in the intersection of legislation and intellectual freedom issues.
Why me?: Be the best-informed person on your block!

Now Showing @ ALA: The Speaker…A Film About Freedom

When: 10:30 a.m.-Noon
Where: NVCC-N242
Who: Cinephiles, cinephobes, idealists & contrarians
Why me?: In advance of IFC’s Monday program, “Speaking about ‘The Speaker’,” we invite you to join us at a screening of the 42-minute 1977 film produced by the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The film proved highly controversial within the Association. This will be a chance for you to see it for yourself and participate in a moderated discussion. It will be showing again Sunday, 8:00-10:00 a.m. and is available on YouTube. A pathfinder of resources on the film and attendant controversy is available at www.ala.org/tools/speaker.

What Would You Do? Ethics in Action: Libraries and Law Enforcement

When: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Where: LVCC-S225
Who: Sponsored by the Committee on Professional Ethics
Why me?: Whether you work at a public, academic, or school library, blurred lines are all around. For example, if a police officer comes to your library asking to view patron records to help locate a missing teenager, where do your professional responsibilities as a librarian end and your civic duties as a member of the community begin? In short, what would you do? Join us to hear from librarians and police officers, review model polices, and role-play scenarios to prepare you for real life ethical dilemmas involving law enforcement.

Surveillance

When: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Where: LVCC-S232
Who: Sponsored by the ACRL Professional Values Committee. Speakers are Jim Teliha & Seeta Gangadharan (Senior Research Fellow, Open Technology Institute)
Why me?:  Surveillance is a big topic. What implications do the latest disclosures about wide-spread government surveillance have for libraries and librarians? The purpose of this session is to provide librarians an update and refresher on the impact of surveillance. The conversations will include recent NSA disclosures, digital surveillance, as well as laws familiar to all librarians, such as the Patriot Act, FISA, and more.

ALA President’s Program & ALA Awards

When: 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Where: LVCC-N249
Who: Pretty much everyone should attend
Why me?: Keynote speaker Lois Lowry is the keynote speaker for ALA President Barbara Stripling’s program. Joining her will be Jeff Bridges, star of the forthcoming film The Giver, based on Lowry’s frequently challenged novel.  Also featured will be Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), who will be presenting the first-ever Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faces with Adversity to Laurence Copel, a youth outreach librarian in New Orleans.

Categories: Book News

Saturday intellectual freedom meetings & programs @ #ALAAC14

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 9:17pm

Here’s your daily list of must-do events at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

Saturday, June 28

Read A Banned Book at the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out

When: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Where: right outside the Exhibit Hall
Who: You!
Why me?: On Saturday and Sunday, SAGE and OIF invite you to the Banned Books Readout Booth, where you can read a short passage from your favorite banned book and then speak from the heart about why that book matters to you. Readings will be video recorded and will be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel during Banned Books Week, September 21-27, 2014. We strongly encourage you to bring your own copy of the book, but some books will be available for your reading.

Intellectual Freedom Committee meetings III & IV

When: 8:30-10:00 a.m. & 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Where: LVCC – N117
Who: Members of the IFC, liaisons & interested guests
Why me?: Participate in ongoing discussions about the revisions to interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights and talk about the IF challenges of the day

Intellectual Freedom Round Table Awards Reception

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Where: LVH – Conference Room 08
Who: June Pinnell-Stephens will receive the Oboler Award for her book, Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your Public Library: Scenarios from the Front Lines.  The New Jersey Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee will receive the Gerald Hodges Award for their decades of work promoting and defending intellectual freedom.
Why me?: Mix & mingle & support these deserving award winners!

Intellectual Freedom Round Table Program: Intellectual Freedom and the Defense of Graphic Novels and Comic Books

When: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Where: LVCC – N240
Who: Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, will discuss the organization’s activities in defense of comic book creators, sellers, lenders, educators and readers. CBLDF is debuting their Banned Books Week Handout at this conference; check out the PDF here.
Why me?: The theme of Banned Books Week this year is banned and challenged comics and graphic novels. A great opportunity to learn how comics are being challenged and defended in library collections and elsewhere. Maybe you’ll get a great idea for a Banned Books Week program!

IFC/FTRF Issues Briefing Session

When: 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: LVCC – N109
Who: Leaders of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Freedom to Read Foundation will discuss key issues and litigation affecting access to information, the First Amendment, and libraries.
Why me?: Come to discuss your thoughts on the proposed revisions to the Library Bill of Rights interpretations and learn about some of the Hot Topics in IF.

Categories: Book News

IFAction News Roundup, June 15 – 21, 2014

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 10:48pm

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from June 15 – June 21, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Are threats of violence on Facebook criminal, or free speech?

Chilling Speech Is No Laughing Matter

Senators fear plan will muzzle whistleblowers

[Gray County] Texas Deputy Displays Ignorance Of Laws He’s ‘Enforcing’ While Trying To Shut Down A Citizen’s Recording

Glenn Greenwald On Why Privacy Is Vital, Even If You ‘Have Nothing To Hide’

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

Dems release bill to block Web ‘fast lanes’ 

Justices limit patents on software technology

How much did your university pay for your journals?

Time to retire the “digital divide?”

FCC chief unveils plan to close ‘Wi-Fi gap’ 

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

How to Anonymize Everything You Do Online

Cloud companies have to act on privacy, even if the government won’t

How the European Google Decision May Have Nothing To Do With a Right to Be Forgotten

The ACLU’s latest lawsuit on warrantless cellphone tracking has hit a dead end

The US government doesn’t want you to know how the cops are tracking you

Categories: Book News

Happy 75th anniversary of the Library Bill of Rights!

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 2:28pm

Today we are pleased to commemorate the 75th anniversary of ALA’s adoption of the Library Bill of Rights on June 19, 1939 at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. The document – which is the basis for the work of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom – was created in the wake of several incidents of banning The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck in the late 1930s. It also was inspired by the rising tide of totalitarianism around the world.

The first iteration of  the Library Bill of Rights was a statement by the head of the Des Moines, Iowa, Public Library, Forrest Spaulding. It was adopted as policy by that library on November 21, 1938. Much of the wording remained the same for ALA’s version, although it was more universal.

Since its initial adoption, the Library Bill of Rights has been amended four times.  There are also over 20 official interpretations on issues ranging from Meeting Rooms to Labeling and Ratings Systems.  Many of these interpretations have Q&As associated with them to assist library boards and administrators adapt the policies to their specific circumstances.

To honor the Library Bill of Rights, take some time to read it and consider its meaning and relevance lo these many decades later.  And if you’re on social media, share this post!

Categories: Book News

IFAction News Roundup, June 8 – 14, 2014

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:30am

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from June 8 – June 14, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Free Speech or Illegal Threats? Justices Could Say

[Pensacola] Florida School Cancels Reading Program Over Cory Doctorow Book

Al Gore: Snowden not a traitor

Iraq tries to censor social media to disrupt ISIS communication, but its success is limited

Tech company, free speech groups to protect websites under attack 

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles 

FCC Chief Plans Action on Wi-Fi in Schools

Removing Barriers to Competitive Community Broadband

Appeals Court Rules Digital Library Doesn’t Violate Copyright Law

How Do You Know The Public Domain Is In Trouble? It Requires A 52-Page Handbook To Determine If Something Is Public Domain

Verizon Says It Wants to Kill Net Neutrality to Help Blind, Deaf, and Disabled People

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Google’s New All-Seeing Satellites Have Huge Potential—For Good and Evil

Gmail Bug Could Have Exposed Every User’s Address

After Heartbleed, We’re Overreacting to Bugs That Aren’t a Big Deal

Mathematicians Urge Colleagues To Refuse To Work For The NSA

Because after all, it is not information that wants to be free, it’s us [TED Talk: Keren Elazari]

Categories: Book News

Black Caucus of the ALA statement on “The Speaker” sponsorship

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 7:18pm

In response to several requests to elaborate on the Black Caucus of the ALA’s (BCALA) decision to cosponsor the upcoming ALA Conference program, “Speaking about the Speaker,” BCALA president Jerome Offord, Jr. wrote an open letter to the library community detailing the organization’s reasoning.  Here’s a key excerpt from the letter:

“As our governance structure permits, a proposal was submitted to the Executive Board requesting that BCALA collaborate on this project. The conversation began with those members who were present during the first iteration of this issue. The Executive Board debated the pros and the cons, talked about the historical decision regarding this film in the past, and questioned why we should collaborate in this venture. One member clearly reflected that this film, and the possible showing of it in the past, sent a blowing ripple through ALA at the time. In order to truly understand the history behind this, you must remember, this was in 1977. Times have changed and the BCALA Executive Board felt it was time for us to discuss this political hot button.”

You can read the full letter here: TheSpeaker_PR_BCALA.  Our thanks to BCALA for their support of this program!

Categories: Book News

IFAction News Roundup, May 25-31, 2014

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 3:05pm

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from May 25 – May 31, 2014.

 

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

House Approves Amendment To Protect Journalists From Revealing Sources

Appeals Court Reaffirms The Public Has The Right To Record The Police, Except For All The Times When It Doesn’t

Facebook may soon open up for kids under-13 with parental supervision

U. of Oregon’s New Academic-Freedom Policy Protects Students and Staff

NSA Releases Snowden Email, Says He Raised No Concerns About Spying

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

How to Build a Kinder Web for the Transgender Community

Court Approves F.C.C. Plan to Subsidize Rural Broadband Service

3 must-knows about teachers and copyright

Skype to get ‘real-time’ translator

5 ways Maya Angelou influenced education

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Germany Mulls Arbitration for Web ‘Right to Be Forgotten’

Could our behaviour be turned into a password?

Google will take requests to scrub embarrassing search results. But it won’t help U.S. users.

Yoder: Agencies seizing emails is ‘much worse’ than NSA spying 

59% of U.S. Internet Users Know Smart Devices Can Collect Information About Their Personal Activities

Categories: Book News

Banned Books Week 2014 celebrates graphic novels

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 2:24pm

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.

“This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship,” said Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee.

Recently, the acclaimed memoir “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel, has been the flashpoint in a university funding controversy in South Carolina, while last year “Persepolis,” by Marjane Satrapi, faced an attempted ban in the Chicago Public Schools.  Graphic novels continually show up on the American Library Association’s (ALA)  Top 10 list of Frequently Challenged Books.  The ALA released its current list in April and includes Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” at the top spot and Jeff Smith’s series “Bone” arriving at #10.

“Once again the ALA is delighted to be part of a coalition to make the public aware that books are still being banned and challenged around the country,” said ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Barbara Jones. “Banned Books Week will serve as an opportunity for libraries, authors, booksellers, publishers, educators, and many other stakeholders to continue their efforts to safeguard the freedom to read.”

Banned Books Week celebrates the Freedom to Read by encouraging readouts, displays, and community activities designed to raise awareness of the ongoing threats of censorship that continue to occur.  Bannedbooksweek.org is a hub for information about how individuals and institutions can become involved in celebrating this important event.  The website also includes resources and activities provided by event sponsors.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of College Stores, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN American Center, and Project Censored.

To learn more about Banned Books Week, or how you can get involved, please visit www.ala.org/bbooks orwww.bannedbooksweek.org.

Categories: Book News

Zoia Horn and Dorothy Broderick on “The Speaker”

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 5:51pm

Continuing our look at the 1977 film The Speaker and the controversy surrounding it, we call your attention to opinions from two key players: Dorothy Broderick and Zoia Horn.  The two women, both fierce and celebrated defenders of “intellectual freedom” as a concept, had remarkably disparate views on the film, its message, and its utility.

Broderick, the legendary librarian, educator, and co-founder of VOYA Magazine, wrote a memorable opinion piece, “Son of Speaker,” for the October 1977 American Libraries.  The article provides good background on some of the issues that helped create the context for the controversy around the film, and an explanation for her advocacy in favor of it. A key quote from her:

We cannot, as an Association devoted to the dissemination of all ideas, be so unsophisticated as to equate defending a racist’s right to speak with being a racist.  It is the right to be heard that is all important, and not the quality of the ideas.  We cannot allow ourselves to lose sight of the fact that suppression of one unpopular opinion opens the door to suppression of all unpopular opinions. Nor can we afford to forget that every major improvement in society—including the civil rights movement—began as an unpopular minority opinion.  Most of all, out of total self-interest, we should remember that each voice silenced contributes to the possibility of our own voices being silenced.

AL printed this along with eight other compelling letters under the heading “Other Voices, Other Views.”  Thanks to the ALA Library for posting these pages and to AL for permission to do so.

On the other side: Zoia Horn, 1977-1978 Intellectual Freedom Committee chair (whom Judith Krug once referred to as “the first librarian who spent time in jail for a value of our profession”).  Zoia’s daughter, Catherine Marrion, wrote to ALA upon hearing of “Speaking about The Speaker” and asked that we bring attention to her mother’s account of the matter, as recorded in her 1995 autobiography, Zoia!  Ms. Marrion agreed to let us quote her email:

My mother is 96 years old and in failing health so will not be able to attend, but she would be happy for you to … link to her book on openlibrary.org and specifically to the chapter titled “Intellectual Freedom Committee (pages 199 -224), which deals almost exclusively with the making of “The Speaker” and the subsequent fallout. …

Zoia was a new member of the Intellectual Freedom Committee in 1976 and she describes with considerable dismay the lack of consultation in the creation of the film. Her account of this event sources committee minutes, meeting notes, correspondence and recollection of conversations with committee members and others.

My mother’s career was devoted in large measure to issues of intellectual freedom and the right to know. In 1970 she went to jail rather than compromise these principles. The California Library Association has an annual Intellectual Freedom Award in her honour, and she has many other awards. Zoia’s opposition to “The Speaker” and to the undemocratic and non-consultative way in which it was produced is a piece of my mother’s history, but of course it is a part of American library history…

We strongly encourage you to check out both of these great women’s perspectives, and to add your own in the blog comments or elsewhere.

For the full rundown of available resources on The Speaker, see the ALA Library pathfinder.

Categories: Book News

Barbara Jones article on “The Speaker” program

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 11:37am

American Libraries magazine blog The Scoop has uploaded the article penned by OIF Executive Director Barbara Jones announcing the conference program on The Speaker.

I was a student at Columbia University’s School of Library Service at the time, and my professors advocated on both sides of the issue. …  Recently, I was warned by members who attended that meeting not to bring up the controversy ever again. But some participants and a new generation of librarians want to revisit the film, and they have agreed to discuss it at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas.

Due to publishing deadlines, the article was written prior to the program’s announcement and ensuing discussion. Still, it’s relevant to the conversation and worth a read.

It also has been added to the “Contemporary Coverage” section of the ALA Library’s pathfinder.

Categories: Book News

Resources for “The Speaker” program

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:45pm

The ALA Library has very helpfully put together a pathfinder of resources relevant to the ongoing discussion around “Speaking About ‘The Speaker,’” the upcoming IFC/AAP program at ALA Annual Conference.

Included in the pathfinder: the link to the film and the accompanying discussion guide, a film chronology, a bibliography of articles about the film and the controversy surrounding it, uploads of several historical American Libraries magazine articles (reprinted with permission of AL magazine), and links to recent articles about the upcoming program.

A key document is the full 1978 statement from 25 ALA members, endorsed by the Black Caucus of the ALA, presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in opposition to the film and ALA’s sponsorship of it.

This pathfinder is a work in progress: if you have other articles or links you would like included in the finders guide, please contact Valerie Hawkins at library@ala.org.

Categories: Book News
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