Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Freedom To Read Week: An Excerpt from Toni Samek

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) University of Alberta Student Chapter and the Future Librarians for Intellectual Freedom (FLIF) have started planning and preparations to recognize Freedom to Read Week (FtRW) on campus during the week of February 22 - February 28, 2009.

We're hoping to use this blog as a place to collect and discuss background information and highlights related to this commemoration. We encourage our members to contribute content and links as we gear up for FtRW events.

Below is an excerpt from Toni Samek's guest editorial in Feliciter (Vol. 52 No.1 2006). It provides a helpful anchor for Freedom to Read Week activities in that it looks beyond classic challenges to library resources and considers the broad threats to intellectual freedom.

"Librarians’ development and articulation of the broad concept of intellectual freedom has been an important and necessary step in the evolution of librarianship into the 21st century. In 2006, our understanding of intellectual freedom transcends struggles over classic challenges to library resources as well as more recent controversies around open Internet access policies. We grapple continuously with intellectual freedom issues on countless fronts at local, national and international levels. These issues include commercialization of public space, copyright and access to information, cultural destruction, digital preservation and obligations to memory, imposed technologies, anti-terrorism legislation, privacy, privatization, self-censorship and information suppression, social exclusion, limits to the international exchange of ideas, transborder data flow, implications of World Trade Organization agreements such as GATS, freedom of inquiry, and access of citizens to government information" (18).

Could any of these examples be incorporated into our promo materials or posters?

- Masha

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's your economy too.

The economy. Library issue? IFSR issue? When you consider that the economic downturn hits everybody (and usually harder on the underprivileged), and that library budgets experience cuts while library usage increases, then I say yes, the bad news is a library issue.

As more and more major governments near and far pledge stimulus packages for their struggling economies, it makes sense to ask what stimulus is in the first place. That's why I like this brief article from the Globe. The reminder is that stimulus means spending, not saving; by putting money back into the economy, rather that cutting taxes, we encourage others to do the same.