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Latham public libraries if
 

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Dr. Joyce Latham's presentation on intellectual freedom, as part of WikiLeaks vs. Intellectual Freedom discussion at Brookfield Public Library (2/24/2011)

Dr. Joyce Latham's presentation on intellectual freedom, as part of WikiLeaks vs. Intellectual Freedom discussion at Brookfield Public Library (2/24/2011)

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    Latham public libraries if Latham public libraries if Presentation Transcript

    • Joyce M. Latham February 24, 2011
      • Evelyn Geller’s Forbidden Books in American Public Libraries, 1876-1939; ( Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984)
      • Louise Robbins’ Censorship and the American Library: the American Library Association’s Response to Threats to Intellectual Freedom, 1939-1969; (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996
      • Toni Samek’s Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship, 1967-1974 ; (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2001)
      • First Intellectual Freedom policy – April, 1936 – Chicago Public Library Board of Trustees:
        • members of the Polish community argued that the Foreign Department of the Chicago Public Library was acquiring too much “communistic and pornographic” material.
        • report by the BOT Committee on Library also indicated that the Russian community argued a “strong communistic influence” prevailed in the management of the Russian section of the Library; that the “works of Trotzky, Lenin and Marx predominate”
        • that this constituted a ”subtle way of spreading communistic propaganda among Americans.” (Chicago Public Library Board of Directors. Proceedings, 1936: 71.)
      • Expansion of CPL policy in January, 1939, to cover meetings and discussions within all libraries
      • The Public Library asserts its right and duty to keep on its shelves a representative selection of books on all subjects of interest to its readers and not prohibited by law, including books on all sides of controversial questions.
      • Books on any subject, if published by reputable and well-known publishers and sold without restriction in bookstores, are properly admitted to the Public Library.
      • The Public Library has no right to emphasize one subject at the expense of another, or one side of a subject without regard to the other side. It must carry the important books on all sides and all subjects.
      • Des Moines, Iowa public library policy – “Bill of Rights for a Free Public Library” -- adopted by the Des Moines public library board in 1938
        • Meeting room use
        • Communists vs. Socialists
      • American Library Association “Library Bill of Rights” adopted in 1939
        • Staff Organizations Round Table (SORT)
        • Annual meeting
        • Popular acclimation
      • Hitler’s model for “converting the masses”
      • Control of public librarianship:
        • “ To control public librarianship it was necessary to control librarians. Somehow librarians had to be coerced, persuaded, and molded into a force that could be relied on to carry out Nazi policies and programs.” (Steig, Public Libraries in Nazi Germany )
        • Many were dismissed*; civil service “reformed”
        • 1935: librarians had to be “professionally educated, personally suitable, and politically reliable.” (Prussian Minister of Education)
        • Libraries themselves were “purified”
          • *Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt
    •  
      • Today, indications in many parts of the world point to growing intolerance, suppression of free speech, and censorship affecting the rights of minorities and individuals. Mindful of this, the Council of the American Library Association publicly affirms its belief in the following basic policies, which should govern the services of free public libraries:
        • Books and other reading matter selected for purchase from the public funds should be chosen because of value and interest to people of the community and in no case should the selection be influenced by the race or nationality or the political or religious views of the writers.
        • As far as available material permits, all sides of questions on which differences of opinion exist should be represented fairly and adequately in the books and other reading matter purchased for public use.
        • The library as an institution to educate for democratic living should especially welcome the use of its meeting rooms for socially useful and cultural activities and the discussion of current public questions. Library meeting rooms should be available on equal terms to all in the community regardless of their beliefs or affiliations .
      • In October of 1941, the CPL Employees Union arranged a city-wide rally “in protest of the debasement and destruction of culture now taking place in all countries occupied by the fascists.”
        • Karl Jenkinson, an officer in the CPL union, presented a resolution denouncing the “medieval burning of books; the murder and humiliation of writers, scholars, teachers; the destruction of libraries and schools.”
      • Friday Nov. 28, 1941 CPL union members gathered at the Hotel Hamilton to “protest these acts of brutality and inhumanity and pledge to do all in our power to wipe out this scourge of humanity and support the foreign policy of President Roosevelt of giving aid to all countries fighting Hitlerism and fascism.”
      • The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
      • I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
      • II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
      • III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
      • IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
      • V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
      • VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
      • The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
      • I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
      • II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues . Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval .
      • III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
      • IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas .
      • V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
      • VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
      • Grapes of Wrath
      • The Nation
      • … ..
      • Catcher in the Rye
      • ……
      • Communications Decency Act
      • Children’s Internet Protection Act
      • USA Patriot Act
      • Social Responsibilities Round Table
      • Rejection by ALA Council
      • Substitute Statement
      • Resolution on WikiLeaks and Federal Agencies
      • Resolution in Support of WikiLeaks
      • ALA Council
      • Resolution on Access to and Classification of Government Information