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Late February IF News

Posted By Todd A. Schlechte, Monday, February 29, 2016

Here is the latest IF news from Kristin Pekoll of ALA's OIF office:

·        Report your challenges! OIF is working to finalize numbers for 2015 challenges and our annual list of most frequently challenged books. The deadline is Friday, February 26,

·        Intellectual Freedom & Thomas Paine at your library. OIF and Ian Ruskin offer libraries an opportunity to provide advance screenings of To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine as a program for their communities before it’s aired on public television. In addition to the film license, libraries are supplied with the DVD format to circulate in their collection and resources to promote and structure the library program. This is a great opportunity for libraries to support ALA and Intellectual Freedom.

·        Webinar: Finding Intellectual Freedom Friends. March 7, 1:00pm CST. As librarians, we are often cocooned in library voices. But there are other industries and professionals whose principles and values often align with ours; especially intellectual freedom. This webinar will share examples of potential partners and how collaborating with non-library organizations can strengthen your message and increase your reach. Collaboration with like-minded organizations can create renewed enthusiasm and new library supporters. Whether you're designing programs and curriculum or looking for writers and speakers, you may want to consider friends who share your values but can offer different perspectives. Speakers: Charles Brownstein and Emily Brock

·        Call for students: Do you have a teenage student, or access to them? Dr. Laura Crysel at Stetson University is doing an interesting IRB approved study: does what we read affect us, particularly controversial books? Dr. Crysel seeks your assistance in finding parents or teachers who can help identify students willing to read one of 8 books. Four of them are “controversial,” and four are not. The books are: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; The Golden Compass;  The Hobbit; The Catcher in the Rye; 1984; The Color Purple; and Jane Eyre. Participating students will then be asked to fill out a short questionnaire whose answers will be private and confidential. Naturally, parents have to approve of participation, as well as teachers, and the students really have to read the books, not just see the movie. If you have any questions about the research, please feel free to contact Dr. Laura Crysel at, or call at 386-822-7396. But do help if you can: we need research like this. And feel free to forward this call to other, relevant email lists.



·        Virginia HB 516; “Board of Education; policy on sexually explicit instructional material”; Opinion: Bill would stifle classroom subjects | The Daily Progress



·        American Idiot; Anti-Censorship Group Addresses Enfield High School Play Controversy | Enfield Patch (Connecticut)                                     

·        This One Summer; Florida High Schools Restrict Access to “This One Summer” | School Library Journal (Florida)


Libraries and Intellectual Freedom

·        Black Lives Matter 'color-only' rule runs afoul of Nashville library | USA Today

·        Library revises public display policy after controversy | The Daily Progress



·        The iPhone Case and the Future of Civil Liberties:  We need new privacy law for the digital age | Boston Review (Op-Ed from Freedom to Read Foundation Trustee Neil Richards)

·        Why Apple is battling investigators over San Bernardino terrorists' iPhone| Los Angeles Times

·        A Letter to Our Customers  and Answers to your Questions about Apple and Security | Apple

·        Why you should side with Apple, not the FBI, in the San Bernardino iPhone case| The Washington Post

·        Apple is Selling You a Phone, Not Civil Liberties| Lawfare

·        Not a Slippery Slope, but a Jump off the Cliff | Lawfare

·        The Dangerous All Writs Act Precedent in the Apple Encryption Case| The New Yorker

·        Surveillance state: fingerprinting pupils raises safety and privacy concerns | The Guardian

·        New Hampshire bill allows public libraries to run Tor in the face of federal challenges | The Daily Dot


Around the Web

·        Beware the Bigoted Subtext of Children’s Literature| Education Week

·        ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ remains among top banned classical novels | PBS News Hour

·        ‘Mockingbird' author Harper Lee dies at 89 | Raycom

·        Bill aimed at stopping censorship of student reporters | Southeast Missourian

·        Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month | The Washington Post

·        Lawyer says removing Pickton book from Amazon may be tough | News 1130 (Canada)

·        Robert Pickton: Canadian serial killer book pulled from Amazon| BBC News

·        Williams College President Calls Off Speech by Controversial Conservative Writer| Chronicle of Higher Education

·        Book Bans & Tor Nodes: Libraries are our not-so-quiet free expression defenders | IFEX

Tags:  current news  intellectual freedom  kristen pekoll 

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