Many of you may already be aware that the American Library Association (ALA) issued an official statement in January opposing new administrative policies that contradict core professional values; the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) issued a similar statement condemning perceived government censorship. Last week ALA President Julie Todaro released yet another statement protesting transgender student protection rollbacks.

There’s a lot happening in the library field right now and we want to help you through it. We have heard many questions from students regarding these issues, including:

  • Fake news? Alternative facts? Where do I find the real story?
  • How could my library be affected by potential legislative/administrative policies?  My patrons?
  • Should the library even participate in politics?
  • What are my professional responsibilities?
  • How can I get involved?

These are great questions! We want to assure you that we have heard your voices and are working on responding to your needs. We will soon be facilitating a forum in conjunction with the Portland’s ESU Student Chapter of the ALA.  Our discussion will be led by Professor Candace Morgan, former President of the Freedom to Read Foundation and chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee.  We’ll be hosting this conversation during the upcoming class weekend on April 1st.  Take the survey so we can address your questions and concerns!

In the meantime, here are some timely resources to help us all…

Find the Facts

Check out this handy resource from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

how-to-spot-fake-news.jpg

Take 45 minutes to watch this free and highly informative webinar from the ALA Public Programs Office!  

“Post-Truth: Fake News and a New Era of Information Literacy”

Keep Up with the Conversation

We highly recommend checking out the OIF Intellectual Freedom Blog.  Consider subscribing to the OIF Intellectual Freedom News so you can get up-to-date weekly information delivered to your email!

Serve our Diverse Populations

The ALA “strongly supports the protection of each person’s civil liberties, regardless of that individual’s nationality, residency, or status.”  Many of our students serve diverse populations in metropolitan areas and have expressed concern for their patrons and employees due to recent administrative actions.  See how Libraries Respond in Support of Immigrant Rights for great resources from the ALA, including information about Project Welcome and guides to legal immigrant/refugee rights.

Additional Professional Resources

Advocacy: http://www.ala.org/offices/ola/
Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services: http://www.ala.org/offices/diversity/
Government Relations: http://www.ala.org/offices/ogr/
Information and Technology Policy: http://www.ala.org/offices/oitp/
Intellectual Freedom: http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/
Libraries Respond: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/libraries-respond

As always, please contact your officers or representatives with questions, comments or concerns.

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