Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How You Can Protect Your Right to Read: Stay Informed

In honor of Banned Books week, here are some tips from Robert P. Doyle and the American Library Association on how you can arm yourself with information in the fight against censorship:

Be aware of what's happening.
When you encounter censorship, be prepare to speak up or let others know. Ask your public, academic or school librarian if there are any current attempts to remove materials from their shelves.

Attend school board, library boards and PTA meetings. Learn about policies governing access to information.

Subscribe to print and online news publications
to stay current on First Amendment rights and censorship issues.

Here are a few links to get you started:

The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom:publishes the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom and maintains a blog, a Twitter account and the IFACTION mailing list.

The First Amendment Center: maintains an online First Amendment Library and provides breaking news about First Amendment issues via its RSS newsfeed.

The McCormick Foundation's Post-Exchange has original reporting and commentary on First Amendment and intellectual freedom-related news and also publishes an electronic newsletter aggregating news from around the country and the world on these issues.

"Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas." ~Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959

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