At my university, there is a group of student tour guides who give tours of the campus to prospective students and their families. The library is included in their tour, and it is often amusing to listen to the misinformation about the library that they sometimes include. We periodically provide updated information, and the tour … Read more Overheard
Category: Intellectual Freedom
Noted as an example of what I think can be called political censorship in the American South: “GSC professor teaches the importance of art as his own work comes under fire,” by Brandee A. Thomas, Gainesville Times.
Librarians interested in intellectual freedom should take note of a case of censorship by copyright lawsuit. Danish artist Nadia Plesner has used an image of a Louis Vuitton handbag in some biting artwork about the genocide in Darfur to show our culpability in not bridging the gap between the tragedy there and our shallow consumerist … Read more Nadia Plesner free speech case
Byron Anderson has updated his “Bibliographic and Web Tools for Alternative Media,” which is published regularly in Counterpoise. Sections include Reference Books/Online Databases; Web Sources; Distributors; Organizations; Small Press/Alternative Media: News, Reviews, Awards, Reprints; and Related works. Also see Byron’s guide to “Getting Alternative Press Titles into Libraries and Promoting Alternative Presses in the Library.“
Google has added a feature to its advanced search form that allows you to filter results by reading level or add information about a page’s reading level to the information in the results. Reading level is indicated as “basic,” “intermediate,” or “advanced.” Like most of what goes on underneath the Google hood, we aren’t given … Read more Google’s new “reading level” filtering
Christian Caryl has an insightful post on the NYRB blog, “WikiLeaks in the Moral Void.” As he astutely says about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, In practical terms it seems to boil down to a policy of disclosure for disclosure’s sake. This is what the technology allows, and Assange has merely followed its lead. I don’t … Read more NYRB blog: WikiLeaks in the Moral Void
A conflict over intellectual freedom of potential historical import may be taking shape in China surrounding China’s most famous (globally famous) artist, Ai Weiwei. Ai Weiwei is politically active as well as being a challenging and innovative artist whose work responds to the contemporary world, so it is not surprising that the Chinese government is … Read more Ai Weiwei
This article feels like another nail in the coffin of what we thought we knew of the past: Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’. Or a ramping-ing up of the general weirdness of the times. Here is the start of the article in the Independent, by Frances Stonor Saunders: For decades in art circles it was … Read more Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’
Leonard Kniffel, editor of American Libraries, the American Library Association’s house publication, write in his blog: Book burning is the most insidious form of book banning, and just as the American Library Association is preparing to celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, along comes one Rev. Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove … Read more Props to ALA on 9/11
The 1980s began the “give ’em what they want” era of library collection development, when it became irredeemably elitist for librarians to think they occupy some kind of teaching role as selectors and reference librarians for their communities. In 2010, the war of the populist cultural conservatives against the latté sipping liberal elitists is wearing … Read more Brief note on libraries and elitism
There was a good article about WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Paul Assange, by Raffi Khatchadourian, in the June 7 issue of the New Yorker.
Just a quick link without comment to an IF issue that I think deserves the ALA establishment’s attention. Rowland Keshena of the Speed of Dreams blog has posted an item about Facebook’s recent actions shutting down Left-oriented groups and freezing their group administrators’ accounts: “Cataloging Political Repression on Facebook.” Some of the groups that have … Read more Facebook Intellectual Freedom Issue (Political Repression)
A Space for Hate: The White Power Movement’s Adaptation into Cyberspace Author: Adam Klein Price: $25.00 Published: June 2010 ISBN: 978-1-936117-07-9 A Space for Hate speaks to the media and information topic of hate speech in cyberspace, but more specifically, how its inscribers have adapted their movement into the social networking and information-providing contexts of … Read more New book: A Space for Hate: The White Power Movement’s Adaptation into Cyberspace
There is a hot issue in librarianship that I think has great significance in terms of how society and the institution of libraries is changing. The issue is how the profession will deal with claims by native cultural groups who desire that their cultural works, documents, and artifacts be kept in public libraries, but with … Read more Wayne Bivens-Tatum on Librarians and “Traditional Cultural Expressions”
Lawsuit Challenges Police and Secret Service Crackdown on Journalists Covering Protests at Republican National Convention CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org May 5, 2010, Minnesota and St. Paul, MN —Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) with co-counsel De Leon & Nestor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, filed a federal lawsuit against the Minneapolis and St. Paul police … Read more Goodman vs. St. Paul
A very intelligent op-ed on Truthout about the present situation for public intellectuals: Lewis R. Gordon, “The Market Colonization of Intellectuals.” I’m not a regular reader of Truthout, but maybe I will pay more attention to it now. Gordon is writing about the new economics of academia, and intellectual work within and outside the academy. … Read more The Market Colonization of Intellectuals
Colonel Morris Davis was fired from his job at the Congressional Research Service for opinion pieces he wrote about the military commissions system (he is the former chief prosecutor for the Guantánamo military commissions). The ACLU is suing the Library of Congress on his behalf in this free-speech case. This is the second time recently … Read more ACLU sues Library of Congress in workplace speech case
Byron Anderson’s Bibliographic and Web Tools for Alternative Media has just been updated. This is a good collection development resource for librarians and others who want tools for going beyond the usual lists and collection development resources, especially for finding books on the political fringes or otherwise outside of the usual academic or corporate channels.
Something is happening in Minnesota that is worth noting if you’re interested in the public sphere. There is a mining project in the Iron Range that is awaiting state approval. It would be the first mining project in the Iron Range that would mine copper and precious metals instead of the usual iron that has … Read more Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer will not be in attendance