Webinar: Protect the freedom to read in your library

What do you do when a patron or a parent finds a book in your library offensive and wants to take it off your shelves? How do you remain sensitive to the needs of all patrons while avoiding banning a title? How can you bring attention to the issue of book banning in an effective way? In this 1-hour webinar presented by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and SAGE, three experienced voices will share personal experiences and tips for protecting and promoting the freedom to read.

Tuesday, September 29   |9am PDT| 10am MDT|11am CDT| 12pm EDT

Register now!

Washington, D.C. Public Library, Photo by Phil Freelon

Washington, D.C. Public Library, Photo by Phil Freelon

Part I: How to use open communication to prevent book challenges

Kate Lechtenberg, teacher librarian at Iowa’s Ankeny Community School District, finds that conversations between librarians, teachers, students, and parents are a key way to creating a culture that understands and supports intellectual freedom. “The freedom to read is nothing without the freedom to discuss the ideas we find in books.”

Part II: How to handle a book challenge after it happens

Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, will share her unique experiences facing several book challenges (and a potential book burning!) when she served as a young adult librarian. How did she address the needs of upset parents and community members while maintaining unrestricted access to information and keeping important books on her shelves?

Part III: How to bring attention to the issue of banned books

Why would a supporter of free speech and open learning purposely ban a book? Scott DiMarco, director of the North Hall Library at Mansfield University, reveals how he once banned a book to shed light on library censorship and what else he is doing to support the freedom to read on his Pennsylvania campus.

Following the three presentations, there will be some time for Q&A moderated by Vicky Baker, deputy editor of the London-based Index on Censorship magazine.

About Nancy Gravatt

Nancy Gravatt was a press officer of the American Library Association’s Washington Office.

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