Choosing Privacy

This week, May 2-8, 2010 the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsored the first ever Choose Privacy Week.’  Check out the official website at privacyrevolution.org
While it may have served better to be posting about this last weekend, it’s never too late to talk about privacy.

I encourage you to watch the Privacy Week video. It’s long at 23 minutes, but stick with it, you will be glad you did.’  Not only does it feature beloved authors with online presences- Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman, and ALA president Camilla Alire, it also features an average mother with a teenage daughter who are having an open conversation about privacy. This last one is important.’  While I love public figures who speak out about the things I believe in, honest and open conversations between teens and parents, or other caring adults, are the small places where change can happen.’  Having adults who support them and help them to learn about the world around them is the ideal situation for teens to grow into adults who keep that awareness.

This is information literacy. Online privacy choices require some critical thinking.

Click through to the rest of the post and I will get into a bit of the specifics of this regarding the current stat of Facebook.

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2008 Book Challenges

Perhaps it’s hard to believe, but 2008 is almost over. The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is seeking reports of book challenges that occurred during the year.’  As the OIF post on the topic states:

With the end of the year approaching, the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be compiling our yearly list of most frequently challenged books. We collect information for our challenge database from newspapers and reports submitted by individuals and, while we know that many challenges are never reported, we strive to be as comprehensive as possible in our records. We would greatly appreciate if you could send us any information on challenges in your library or school from 2008. Continue reading

Bunny Suicides Returned to Library

Taffey Anderson, the Oregon woman who had been refusing to return The Book of Bunny Suicides to her 13 year old son’s school library, has returned the book and softened her stance after the story provoked several negative editorials and blog posts. Anderson spoke to the American Libraries, telling them that the book was returned on October 24th. She was quoted as saying “I was talking completely out of anger,” and “I did apologize in the newspaper and should never have said that, but I don’t think it’s a book for school-age children.”

This is a great reminder that how we deal with an initial challenge can make a difference in the outcome. It can be tempting to dismiss challenges without really listening to the person’s real concern. Staying calm and courteous and practicing active listening can sometimes prevent a concern from becoming a public challenge. ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom offers a helpful guide to dealing with challenges.We all hope we never find ourselves in that situation but in case we do, it is important to be prepared.