November 21, 2017

Public Libraries Grapple with Hate Incidents

From the run-up to the 2016 presidential election to its aftermath, incidents of hatred, anger, and intolerance have been on the rise across the country and beyond. Academic libraries have been the sites of several incidents, as have schools. Even public libraries, generally thought of as safe spaces for their communities, have not been immune.

LaRue on Taking the Lead at the Office of Intellectual Freedom, Freedom To Read Foundation

James (Jamie) LaRue, most recently CEO of LaRue & Associates, has been chosen to lead the American Library Association (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), effective January 4, 2016 following the retirement of OIF director Barbara M. Jones on December 31. As former director of the Douglas County, CO, Library System and Colorado Librarian of the Year, LaRue will step into his new roles with hands-on library experience at all levels—local, regional, statewide, and national. He has also served on ALA’s Digital Content Working Group and OCLC’s executive council, as well as writing an LJ column on Self-Publishing and Libraries. LJ caught up with LaRue as he was preparing to relocate close to ALA headquarters in Chicago.

CA College Student Challenges Graphic Novel Syllabus

The administration at Crafton Hills College, a community college in Yucaipa, CA, recently denied a student’s request to remove what she considered objectionable material from a college course on graphic novels. After enrolling in the course and purchasing her books, Tara Schultz was surprised to learn that some of the titles included mature material. “I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography,” she told the Redland Daily Facts (RDF). The four books on the syllabus she found objectionable included: Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin, 2006); Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1, by Brian Vaughan (Vertigo, 2003); The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll’s House, by Neil Gaiman (1990, DC Comics); and Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon, 2004).

Office of Intellectual Freedom Reaches Out for Help as Challenges Slip Through the Cracks | ALA Midwinter 2014

At the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter conference in Philadelphia, the organization’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) stated that the number of challenges to books in school and public libraries is on the rise. Some464 challenges were reported to OIF officials in 2012, a steep rise from the 328 recorded in 2011 and 2010’s total of 346 reported challenges.