Intellectual Freedom matters. As Young Adult librarians we are constantly facing down book and material challenges. If you take a look at any year’s list of ALA’s top ten challenged books, you’ll see that the majority of the books being challenged are YA books. ALA is a leader in the defense of the First Amendment, and has a large Intellectual Freedom community. From the Freedom to Read Foundation, which fights for reader rights in court cases, to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, ALA works hard to combat censorship and protect reader privacy. For YALSA members interested in staying up to date on intellectual freedom issues, a great place to start is the YALSA Intellectual Freedom Discussion Group.
Here’s what we’ve been doing:
- Staying informed and sometimes blogging about current issues surrounding intellectual freedom, teens, and libraries. For example, we’ve recently been discussing the Mississippi teen fighting for her right to take her girlfriend to prom.
- Planning ALA Conference programs in conjunction with AASL and ALSC Intellectual Freedom Groups. YALSA plans a program every third year. In 2009, we presented a panel discussion on the fine line between selection and censorship. Our next program will be in 2012.
- Liaisoning with ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee & the Freedom to Read Foundation. Liaisions attend meetings at conference, and sometimes attend the ALA-IFC Spring Meeting in Chicago.
You can join us by contacting the current convener (me). I’ll add your to our email distribution list, and then ask you to join our ALA Connect group. Speaking of conveners, it’s nearly time to vote for a new one (or two). If you think you’d like lead or co-lead this interesting interest group, submit your name to me by Monday, May 3rd. Convener elections will be held via ALA Connect on May 24th.
If you are interested in joining or convening, please email me at email@example.com.