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How to Protect the Freedom to Read in Your Library

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What do you do when a patron or a parent finds a book in your library offensive and wants to take it off your shelves? How do you remain sensitive to the needs of all patrons while avoiding banning a title? How can you bring attention to the issue of book banning in an effective way? In this 1-hour webinar, Kate Lechtenberg, a teacher librarian, Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Scott DiMarco, a university librarian, share their personal experiences and tips for protecting and promoting the freedom to read. This webinar is moderated by Vicky Baker, deputy editor of the Index on Censorship magazine.

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How to Protect the Freedom to Read in Your Library

  1. 1. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Make sure your volume is set appropriately Make sure you have followed the instructions on your keypad properly Make sure everything is plugged in properly to assure your devices are working correctly If you have audio or visual difficulties, please let us know via the Question box and we will be happy to assist you. Please Check Your Settings #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  2. 2. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC How to Protect the Freedom to Read in Your Library #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  3. 3. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Kate Lechtenberg, Teacher librarian, Ankeny, Iowa Kristin Pekoll, Assistant director, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom Scott DiMarco, Director, North Hall Library at Mansfield University #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  4. 4. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Vicky Baker, Deputy editor, Index on Censorship magazine #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  5. 5. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC While we do our best to answer as many questions as we can, time constraints may not allow us to answer every question. Thank you for understanding. Send us your questions! Send in your questions via the Question Box on your screen. → Using Twitter? Use the hashtag #FreetoRead15 #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  6. 6. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Part I: How to use open communication to prevent book challenges Kate Lechtenberg Iowa teacher librarian #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  7. 7. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC the mental journey... #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  8. 8. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  9. 9. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! I read banned books! #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  10. 10. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Veterans Day Banned Books Week Black History Month #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  11. 11. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC People who ban books are stupid! If these books are banned, why are they in the library? Are you mocking my beliefs? #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  12. 12. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Policies Outreach Leadership #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  13. 13. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC San José Library on Flickr, FlickrKate’s boring displays #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  14. 14. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Questions at home Challenges nearby #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  15. 15. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Banned Books Week cannot be the first conversation. #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  16. 16. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Talk to your stakeholders week Monday Librarians Tuesday Admins Wednesday Teachers Thursday Students Friday Parents #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  17. 17. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Find the video on YouTube: #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  18. 18. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Watch the video on YouTube #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  19. 19. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  20. 20. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Our diverse collection Your 6th and 7th grade library includes mostly: Your 8th and 9th grade library also includes: Librarians read widely and consult professional reviews (not Amazon or Goodreads) to help us buy books. #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  21. 21. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Click here to check out the Mental Gym stations #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  22. 22. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Click here for your copy of the ALA's Declaration for the Right to School Libraries #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  23. 23. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  24. 24. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC To parents: about our collection “It’s so important that our collection be diverse because every one of your children is unique. A book what’s not right for one student might be just right for another--and it’s my job to serve all our teens.” #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  25. 25. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC To parents: about our collection “Yes, each parent has the right to guide his or her child’s reading, but my job is to make sure that our library includes books to serve every parent’s child.” Read my draft (in progress!) here. #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  26. 26. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Not yet, dear! #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  27. 27. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Click here to read the full resource. #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  28. 28. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  29. 29. Up next: Administrators
  30. 30. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC the journey continues... #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  31. 31. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Part II: How to handle a book challenge after it happens By Kristin Pekoll Assistant director ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  32. 32. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom
  33. 33. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  34. 34. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC West Bend, Wisconsin #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  35. 35. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  36. 36. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  37. 37. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Petitions and Protests Events Discussion Dialogue Facebook Group and Website #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  38. 38. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Support #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  39. 39. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Authors Updates Continuing the Discussion #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  40. 40. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC National Support Letters #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  41. 41. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Community Shows Up #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif http://tinyurl.com/wbcml-censorship
  42. 42. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Victory! #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  43. 43. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Censorship can happen to ANYONE #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  44. 44. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif How do we address the needs of upset parents and community members and still hold true to the Freedom to Read? • Policies & Mission Statement • Reader’s Advisory • Neutrality • Collection Development
  45. 45. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Promote Library Reader’s Advisory
  46. 46. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC ALA Freedom to Read http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/statementspols/freedomreadstatement The library strives to maintain materials representing all sides of an issue in a neutral, unbiased manner. Selection of materials by the library does not mean endorsement of the contents of views expressed in those materials. The existence of a particular viewpoint in the collection is an expression of the library’s policy of intellectual freedom, not an endorsement of that particular point of view. The library provides service to all within the framework of its rules and regulations and does not knowingly discriminate in its material selection regarding race, creed, sex, occupation or financial position. An Example Neutrality Statement within a Library’s Collection Development Policy Demonstrate Your Neutrality #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  47. 47. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC More is Better than Less #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  48. 48. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Ex-Gay Books #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  49. 49. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC ALL POINTS OF VIEW ALA Library Bill of Rights www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  50. 50. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC oif@ala.org www.ala.org/bbooks Facebook.com/bannedbooksweek Twitter.com/OIF www.ala.org/challengereporting 800-545-2433 x4226 We Can’t Be Silent #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  51. 51. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Part III: How to bring attention to the issue of banned books By Scott R. DiMarco Director of Library and Information Resources Mansfield University of Pennsylvania #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  52. 52. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC • Mansfield University of Pennsylvania • North Central PA - Rural, small, and generally conservative • Yearly program on Banned Book Week • Very little activity and interest in the program beyond the theoretical Background #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  53. 53. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Banned Book Week • -Annual event • -2012 – 6 attendees (5 from our library) • -2013 – Let’s try something different – way different The North Hall Library #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  54. 54. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Why I Banned A Book • Dennis Miller • A familiar and well-liked local author and campus personality • Volunteer author – Asked for it to happen • Ban My Book. Please! Huffington Post (December 3, 2012) By Dennis Miller #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  55. 55. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC The Book in Question • One Woman’s Vengeance • “Butch Wheeler's gang shattered Nora Hawk's dream of a New Mexico horse ranch. The men savagely beat and murdered her husband, raped Nora and left her dying. But she survived, and with the help of retired bounty hunter Peter Clawson, Nora learned the art of killing. She forces her way into man's world of violence, finding the physical and spiritual strength to see that the killers feel the fury of One Woman's Vengeance. “ • A pro-feminist and pro-equality Western #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  56. 56. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC The Plan • Only 5 people knew • Other library staff did not • No big launch • Prior presidential approval • *In hindsight, a wise decision • Knew we were going to do something, but didn’t have the details – still approved #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  57. 57. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Launched with a Whisper #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  58. 58. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Then the Roar • The angry reaction from students, faculty, alumni, and other “interested parties,” was immediate. • A local newspaper reporter contacted Miller within 20 minutes of the posting. • A Facebook protest page was created within a day and people from around the country were voicing their angry thoughts. • One person even posted that he didn’t know books were still being banned. • The less positive outcome, in my mind, was that on a campus of 3,000, only eight people actually asked for a meeting with me to discuss the reasons I banned the book and to discuss what could be done to reverse the ban. • The overwhelming number of comments were complaints about how they felt betrayed by this action or their frustration with the administration. • Some used Facebook as a forum to make rude comments from the relatively safe distance social media provides. • Negative Reaction - My Family, Friends, and Colleagues - even my own children #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  59. 59. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC What We Learned • The reaction was much quicker and intense than anticipated • Our goal was one week – we waited 3 days before we went public • The concept of it worked • A concrete effort was much more meaningful than theory • Very few actually wanted to address the issue and talk about it, and they were mostly students • Lots of name calling and bringing in related issues #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  60. 60. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC The Lesson • The usual programs on the topic of censorship were met by our campus community with general apathy and pleasant indifference. • Our unorthodox experiment was very successful in highlighting how a simple bureaucratic decision can curb our freedom to read. #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  61. 61. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Other Partners in this Project #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  62. 62. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Aftermath • The Huffington Post - article I wrote was published (after numerous rejections) • A regular blog – with some on censorship (Boston Bombers and Magazines) • Reddit +others • This experiment struck a cord nationally and went viral • A year later – a local school district banned a book and our challenge created much discussion • From library users – generally positive and very supportive • From librarians and peers - too controversial #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  63. 63. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC For more information on fighting censorship: • http://crln.acrl.org/content/74/7/368.full July 2013 College & Research Libraries News vol 74 no. 7 368-369 • ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom • Thanks to SAGE Publications Support the Freedom to Read! #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  64. 64. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC While we do our best to answer as many questions as we can, time constraints may not allow us to answer every question. Thank you for understanding. Send us your questions! Send in your questions via the Question Box on your screen. → Using Twitter? Use the hashtag #FreetoRead15 #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif
  65. 65. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi | Singapore | Washington DC Webinar recording, slides, and follow-up Q&A will be emailed to you and available on connection.sagepub.com Thank you! Be sure to check our website for updates on our webinar series! Kate Lechtenberg Kristin Pekoll Scott DiMarco Vicky Baker #FreetoRead15 #bannedbooksweek @oif

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