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HOT TOPICS IN INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM: A DISCUSSION Florida Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee.

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Presentation on theme: "HOT TOPICS IN INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM: A DISCUSSION Florida Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOT TOPICS IN INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM: A DISCUSSION Florida Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee

2 ALA Freedom to Read Statement “There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.”

3 Debi Cheek: eBooks and Access Zach English: Internet Censorship- An International Perspective Robin Shader: Challenges Alyse Ergood: Librarians’ Intellectual Freedom and Rights Sara Gonzalez, Moderator Panelists and Moderator

4 Debi Cheek Debi earned her MLIS from the University of South Florida. She has worked as both a K-12 Media Specialist and an Academic Librarian. Currently, she works as an adjunct professor for Rasmussen College teaching Introduction to Undergraduate Research. Additionally, she is working on her doctorate in Educational Technology at Florida Gulf Coast University.

5 Zach English Zach English is the Director of Library Services for Everglades University. He has worked and interned in academic libraries for three years, including libraries at Hillsborough Community College, Keiser University and Everglades University. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida, and his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Central Florida. He is a member of the Palm Beach County Library Association, the Florida Library Association, and the Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN). He has served on FLA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee for two years, and has also written for FLA’s Media Clippings blog and Florida Libraries journal. His interest in intellectual freedom issues comes from a belief that the rights to pursue knowledge and to express oneself are core human rights.

6 Robin Shader Robin Shader is the Director of the Northwest Regional Library System, serving Bay, Gulf, and Liberty Counties, Florida. She is a New Jersey native and received her MLS from Rutgers University. Robin has worked in public libraries in New Jersey, Georgia and Florida for the past 15 years. She has published articles in School Library Journal, ALA's Applied Professional Association’s Library Worklife, and has two essays in the book Library Management Tips that Work published in 2011 by ALA Editions. Robin is a member of the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee and is the Chair of the FLA Intellectual Freedom Committee.

7 Alyse Ergood  Alyse Ergood is an Associate University Librarian in the Reference and Instruction Department at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton. She is the social sciences librarian, and is a subject specialist in nursing, languages and linguistics, and anthropology to name a few. After receiving her MLIS from the University of South Florida in 2006, Alyse became very active in a variety of library and university committees. She is currently the Vice- Chair/ President Elect of the PBCLA, and a member of various committees in SEFLIN and the ALA’s New Member Roundtable (NMRT). Alyse has published and presented on various topics including marketing, emerging technologies, and creating online tutorials. Her research interests include online education, intellectual freedom, emerging technologies, and various topics within the social sciences. Alyse is working on her Master’s degree in Social Work at FAU.

8 E-BOOKS & ACCESS Debi Cheek, Rasmussen College

9 Access  Device  Patron  Material

10 Device Access  Computer  E-Reader  Tablet  Phone

11 E-Readers and Your Library

12 Platforms

13 E-Books and Print Disabled Patrons “(The) blind and other print-disabled users, for the first time in history, gain access to the same books and publications at the same price and at the same time as the rest of society” (Mason, 2012, pp. 18-19).

14 Print Disabled Options  Magnification  Text-to-Speech  Braille

15 E-Book Options  iOS- Available with Apple Products  Voiceover Option  Connect Bluetooth-enabled Braille display  Kindle  Very limited accessibility (Kindle Fire)  Many books don’t offer text-to-talk feature  NOOK and Sony Reader  Not accessible

16 Access and the Law  NFB v. Free Library of Philadelphia (Enis & Schwartz, 2012)  Pilot program Nook  Patrons 50+ could check out reader  Used Federal Funds to purchase  No Text-to-Speech  Violated Section 504 Rehabilitation Act & Title II ADA  NFB & Dept. of Justice v. Sacramento Public Library  Nook lending  Violated ADA

17 Other Options to Assist Print Disabled Patrons LEAP: Available at no cost for libraries who have a relationship with Overdrive. Registered patrons will have access to BookShare, a separate collection of books and magazines in DAISY & BRF formats.

18 Where did my E-Book go? Clipart from: Operation Awesome

19 Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Access  Type of device  Print, copy or download restrictions  Publisher Restrictions  Vendor Restrictions


21 Threats to Internet Expression  Cyber-crime  Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement  Protecting against obscenity and harmful content  Filters in school and library computers  Intellectual property  Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)  Protect IP Act (PIPA)  Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED)  National security  WikiLeaks

22 ACLU’s “Don’t Filter Me” Project  Viewpoint-neutral content in public schools  2000: Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)  Web-filtering software categorizes content  Problems with allowing removal of filters on a case-by-case basis  2012: PFLAG v. Camdenton R-III School District  URL Blacklist

23 Social Media and Social Protests  Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have facilitated more dissident social organizing internationally  With progress has also come attempts to censor:  Being required to give up your email and Facebook passwords  Government ownership of Internet Service Providers  Governments hiring people to seed the Internet with pro-regime content  Filtering and spying

24 Reporters without Borders’ 2012 “Enemies of the Internet” Report  Egypt: Cut Internet access for five days during the height of protests in January 2011.  Iran and Syria: Slow Internet speeds to a crawl so that photos and videos cannot be transmitted.  Uzbekistan, Belarus, China: Block access to social media sites during times of social protest.  Thailand: A news editor faces a 20-year jail sentence for failing to withdraw comments posted on a news website.  Russia arrests bloggers and creates cyber-attacks to shut down websites that are critical of the government.

25 Companies Providing Filtering Technology  Repressive regimes use Western companies to filter websites and spy on Internet users  Syria has used BlueCoat (U.S.) and Area SpA (Italy)  The European Parliament’s resolution (2012)  Congressional investigation

26 A Threat of Internet Fragmentation  Internet sovereignty  2010: Burma created a national Web  Iran is working to create an Islamic “halal” version of the Web  Several countries restrict access to local intranets  Threat to the idea of the Web as global village

27 International Anti-Censorship Rulings and Response  European Court of Justice ruling: SABAM v. Scarlet (2012)  ISPs can’t be asked to filter  UN Human Rights Council statement (2012)  Hacktivists

28 CHALLENGES AND CASES Robin Shader, Northwest Regional Library System

29 ACLU vs. Davis County School District  Parents of a kindergarten student challenged the book because it "normalizes a lifestyle we don't agree with.“  The District Library Media Committee cited a UT sex education law prohibiting “advocacy of homosexuality” in curriculum materials and ordered the book placed behind the desk and made available only with a permission slip.  ACLU filed a lawsuit (11-13-12) on behalf of two students and their mother. The complaint alleged that the "primary justification for removing the book from the shelves is that, by telling the story  Prior to answering the complaint the Utah Attorney General's office informed ACLU that the book would be returned to open shelves and the School District agreed not to use "advocacy of homosexuality" as a basis for removing books. of children raised by same-sex parents, the book constitutes 'advocacy of homosexuality,' in purported violation of Utah's sex-education laws."

30 Board of Education v. Pico Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853, 102 S.Ct. 2799, 73 L.Ed.2d 435 (1982)  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brennan declared in a plurality opinion: "Local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek their removal to ‘prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.’ "  "If petitioners intended by their removal decision to deny respondents access to ideas with which petitioners disagreed, and if this intent was the decisive factor in the petitioners’ decision, then petitioners have exercised their discretion in violation of the Constitution."

31 Preparing for Challenges  Discuss concerns with patrons; in many cases a formal reconsideration can be avoided.  Make sure you have a collection management plan specifying criteria for adding and removing materials.  Make sure you have a clear reconsideration process.  Plans/policies should be adopted by your governing board and periodically reviewed/reaffirmed.  Regularly train staff and library board members on library policies/processes and the principles behind them.  Educate the community as much as possible on intellectual freedom issues.


33 Why Protect?  To maintain and uphold freedoms  First Amendment: Freedom of Religion and Press  Fourth Amendment: Guards against unreasonable searchers and seizures (U.S. Constitution)  To uphold the Library Bill of Rights and advocate for our patrons and our services

34 Intellectual Freedom One’s right to self-expression and the right to access information both fall under Intellectual Freedom. Copyright Copyright:

35 How to Protect Intellectual Freedom  Become involved in creating the mission and vision of larger entity that library is a part of.  Ensure that library policy, mission, and vision align with the Library Bill of Rights.  It all comes back to justifying support of Library Bill of Rights.  Bridge the divide and engage with policy and decision makers, including administrators  Understand and communicate with the key players (Board of Trustees, Legislature, Administration and so forth) Jones, B.M., 2009).

36 How? Engage in academic and intellectual groups Copyright:

37 How to Protect Intellectual Freedom  Self-educate and know your rights (or not) regarding your computer files, emails, reference appointments, calls, and computer and other equipment  Educate others about the importance of intellectual freedom, such as your IT Personnel and garner support on campus for intellectual freedom (Jones, B.M., 2009).  Advocate, Advocate, Advocate  For self, patrons, colleagues, freedom, access, equality

38 Self-Censorship Where can it be seen?  Acquisitions (electronic and print)  Weeding  Selection of items displayed (or not) for book and varied exhibits  Classes/Workshops  Work Presentations  Expression overall

39 Why and how is this possible?  Unconscious  Perceived or real lack of support  Fear of backlash or reprimand  Financial/Budget  Cyclical (or Top down)  Culture of a particular library or type of library, etc.  Perpetuate status-quo

40 How to prevent?  Create a transparent environment(s) when possible Copyright:

41 How to prevent?  Be honest with your self and others  Analyze your motives  Reflect on your actions or lack of  Remember your focus Copyright:

42 Boundary Between Personal and Professional Blurry Copyright:

43 Boundary Between Personal and Professional Blurry  Social Media (webpage, blog, twitter, non- related personal Facebook pages and postings)  Research/Publications  Presentations  Grant and other applications

44 Who Protects Our Rights to Intellectual Freedom  ALA (American Library Association)  ALA-APA (American Library Association Allied Professional Association)  American Association for University Professors (Private academic libraries)  ACRL (Association for College and Research Librarians)  FEA (Florida Education Association) or other agency  UFF (United Faculty of Florida Union) or other union  United States Constitution and Bill of Rights  United States Courts

45 Conclusion  “Scholarship cannot flourish in an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. Teachers and student must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die”(Jones, B.M., 2009, p. 17).

46 Become An Copyright:

47 References- E-Books Enis, M. & Schwartz, M. (2012, October 25). Free library of Philadelphia resolves NOOK accessibility lawsuit. The Digital Shift. Retrieved from 2/free-library-of-philadelphia-resolves-nook- accessibility-lawsuit/ 2/free-library-of-philadelphia-resolves-nook- accessibility-lawsuit/ Mason, A. (2012). Mainstream access to e-books: What works, what doesn't, and what is still unclear. Future Reflections, 31(2),18-24.

48 Challenge and IF Resources FLA Intellectual Freedom Manual, FLA Executive Director, Faye Roberts,, FLA Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair, Robin Shader, FLA Readers’ Rights and Privacy member group ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom,, 800-545-2433 Resources at

49 References- Librarians' Intellectual Freedom Jones, B.M. (2009). Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your Academic Library: Scenarios from the Front Lines. Chicago: American Library Association. Moody, K. (2010). Covert censorship in libraries. Australian Library Journal, 54. Retrieved from O’neil, R. (2008). Academic Freedom in the Wired World. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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