I wrote recently that the rate of media illiteracy is the information crisis of our time (“Faked Out,” School Library Journal, 1/17, p. 6), but now that very real issue has nonetheless been trumped by a full-on deliberate assault on the flow of information—from journalism and scientific research to dissemination via social media and traditional channels. There is no such thing as an alternate fact, but there is certainly an alternate reality: a chilling, censorial, obfuscating one being offered as a threatening new normal by the new federal administration in the first days and weeks of 2017.
Activist librarian Zoia Markovna Horn died on July 12 at the age 96. She was famous for being the first U.S. librarian to be jailed for refusing to divulge information that violated professional principles of privacy and intellectual freedom. An activist member of the American Library Association (ALA) and a member and chair of its Intellectual Freedom Committee, Horn was jailed for 20 days for contempt after refusing to testify in the 1972 conspiracy trial of the “Harrisburg Seven.”
The Freedom to Read Foundation and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are joining forces to offer an online graduate-level course “Intellectual Freedom and Censorship” for library and information science students around the country held August 26–October 10.
University of Washington iSchool’s Joseph Janes calls for libraries to strike a balance between protecting privacy and innovating to add value—with patrons’ permission. This essay is part of an exclusive LJ series, Reinventing Libraries, that looks at how the digital shift is impacting libraries’ mission.
In a series of exclusive essays, thinkers from the library world address how the digital shift is impacting libraries’ mission. Peer to Peer columnist Barbara Fister reflects on the need to reinvigorate instruction in light of how we now collect resources. University of Washington iSchool’s Joseph Janes, in turn, calls for libraries to strike a balance between protecting privacy and innovating to add value—with patrons’ permission.