A conversation about Online Harassment.
For many teens, online is one of their 3rd places where they can find community and celebrate their various interests. These were safe places where they could find support outside of their physical community, especially if they were being harassed by peers.
Lately though many female content creators have been sharing their experiences which aren’t positive. Female YouTube personalities have sexually suggestive comments posted. Many women in the gaming industry have come under attack, with their personal information being released publicly, forcing at least 3 to have to leave their homes. A female researcher’s survey about sexism was corrupted by false data .We must also not forget the hundreds of celebrity photos that were released earlier this year.
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I just wanted to thank our members for the 537 volunteer committee applications that were submitted and to give everyone an update on the award and selection committee appointments process!
The appointments task force was finalized in October and award and selection committee chairs were selected. The appointments task force and I are still working on filling all of the award and selection committee member vacancies, but rosters should be finalized soon.
Appointing the local arrangements committee for Midwinter 2015 is the next priority.
ALA Appointments: There has been one ALA Appointment call to review the general ALA appointment process. The slate for the nominating committee has not been officially presented, but does include one YALSA member.
ALA President Elect Sari Feldman has put out a call for volunteers for the ALA committees listed below. Please let me know if you are interested in being recommended for any of them. The ALA application form closes this Friday, November 7, 2014.
It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to go through all of your applications. Thank you so much for your dedication to YALSA and to teen library services!
After the publication of a recent School Library Journal article, I had the pleasure of speaking with three members of ALA’s REFORMA about the group’s Children in Crisis Project.’ Oralia Garza de Cortes and Patrick Sullivan spearheaded the project and we were also joined by Silvia Cisneros, current REFORMA President.’ Cisneros had made a donation drop off at the McAllen, TX detention center on September 10th.
Silvia Cisneros with donation drop off at McAllen.’
I asked the trio about how easy is it to make a donation or offer support to the refugee children being held in these centers.’ All of them very quickly noted the level of difficulty; contracted defense workers will not allow the general public any individual contact with the children.’ Health and Human Services are allowed to accept two types of donations: blankets and books.’ As library workers we know the benefit of personal touch, but at the centers this is not an option.’ Cisneros notes that during her drop-off visit she delivered 225 books and these were received by Border Patrol Processing. ‘ ‘ A second donation drop-off occurred on October 17th at the Karnes City, TX distribution center.
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This summer, ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy and Office for Intellectual Freedom released a policy brief marking a decade of school and public libraries limiting patrons’ access to online information due to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
Titled Fencing Out Knowledge: Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later, the report advocates an action plan to reduce the nationwide, negative impacts of CIPA. I found it well worth a read, and you will too if you wish to understand the progressive possibilities surrounding CIPA at your library and at libraries across America.
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What if the collection in your library was circumscribed by your state legislature? This spring, the Michigan state legislature introduced a bill specifically designed to penalize instruction surrounding an important but politically disfavored topic, that of labor organization.
The legislation reads:
Prohibited Instruction Activity. The Senate added new language stating that it is the intent of the Legislature that a public university that receives funds under section 236 shall not participate in any instructional activity that encourages or discourages union organizing of employees including, but not limited to participating with any business or union, or group of businesses or unions, in hosting, sponsoring, administering, or in any way facilitating an academy, seminar, class, course, conference, or program that provides instruction, in whole or in part, in techniques for encouraging or discouraging employees in regard to union organizing. The appropriation in section 236 for any university that participates in an activity described in this section shall be reduced by $500,000 for each occurrence. (Sec. 271A)
Specifically, the bill challenges Michigan State University’s incorporation of a Building Trade Academy as part of their existing School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. The issue seems to have come to a head surrounding coursework that has been described as promoting labor organization.
Promoting labor relations â€“ that seems like a broad umbrella. There is real potential for this movement to stifle any academic debate related to labor history and workers’ rights. Read More →
A new report from America’s Promise Alliance finds that students who leave high school without graduating are often overwhelmed by a cluster of negative impacts of poverty. You can read the full 72 page report (pdf) online, but here are some highlights (if that’s even the right word) to note:
- Approximately 20 percent of young people (that’s about 800,000 per year) don’t graduate from high school
- Toxic home, school, or neighborhood environments–sources of violence, disrespect and adverse health–lead young people to stop going to school
- Connectedness to others can lead young people both toward and away from school
- Even young people who are able to “bounce back” from an interrupted education are often unable to re-engage in the longer-term
So what does all this mean for libraries?
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A recent ruling by the U.S. District Court in Utah has repercussions for how libraries serve teenagers. As a result of the ruling striking down portions of an anti-polyamory law, and the growing public acceptance of polyamory, we librarians have a new diversity to incorporate into our public services.
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Reading Homeland by Cory Doctorow brings up many themes about the NSA, Privacy, and Edward Snowden.
June 5th‘ marks the anniversary of Snowden disclosing thousands of classified documents, and Fight for the Future is organizing a campaign to educate internet users about security, and encourage the use of free privacy tools.
Sunday‘ the New York Times ran an article about NSA who are creating a database of photos for facial recognition software.
Historically Libraries have been advocates for Intellectual Freedom (check out the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom for more information). We fight for our customer’s rights to have access to information, but as we work with the public, especially teens, we often need to’ teach‘ them how to protect themselves online rather than just have us do the protection for them.
Now is a great opportunity to have programs on internet safety.
Below are some resources you can use to create an internet safety program for your community.
Consider putting print outs or bookmarks about internet safety out with a display of Dystopian Fiction like Cory Doctorow’s books and Web Programming books.
Even if you don’t have time to create a display, consider purchasing the independently produced audio edition‘ of Homeland, exclusively available on Cory Doctorow’s website, and adding it to your Overdrive Downloadable collection.
When we think about diversity, it’s easy to confine the discussion to diversity within the collection or within YA literature more broadly. And there are great conversations going on there, from tumblr to Twitter, with YA authors and librarians and readers talking about representation and privilege and our responsibility to serve all teens.
But what about diversity within your library programs?
The library is often an attractive meeting space for groups that otherwise have very little to do with the library. In my district, the library hosts town employee benefit fairs, career morning panels, nursing presentations and many other outside groups simply because the town doesn’t have much in the way of dedicated meeting space. The library also closes early once a month for faculty meetings largely because there’s nowhere else to put the entire faculty at once.
Similarly, the library became the home for the Gay-Straight Alliance more or less out of convenience. I moved both of the extra-curricular groups I advise–the yearbook and GSA–into the library so that I could attend meetings and still more or less keep an eye on the after-school crowd in the library. Holding GSA meetings and events in the library for five years, though, has taught me how well-suited the two are for each other.
1. Built-in meeting space.
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It’s our sister division AASL’s Banned Website Awareness Day, reminding us that books aren’t the only information sources whose access can be challenged.
For the past ten years, by law, libraries must be CIPA-compliant. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) stipulates that public and school libraries receiving federal e-rate funding must implement technology that prohibits Internet access to visual images of child pornography, obscenity, and material that is “harmful to minors.” As a recent YALSA blog post pointed out, this does not translate into blocking social media.
Over the past two years, I’ve worked in two different systems with radically different approaches to filtering, so I’ve seen first-hand how those policies affect students. Read More →