[Libs-Or] Tuesday Topic Information Project from the OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee

Christy Davis cdavis at klamathlibrary.org
Tue Nov 18 07:30:26 PST 2014

Welcome to the third installment in a monthly series covering topics with intellectual freedom implications for libraries of all types. Each message is prepared by members of OLA's Intellectual Freedom Committee. Look for our message on a Tuesday each month of the academic year except December.  Questions can be directed to the IF Committee member who sent the message or to one of the co-chairs of the IFC: http://www.olaweb.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=159

Most of us know about censorship in the form of challenges to material in a library's collection. It would be unusual for most any of us to work long in Library Land without having a challenge to a book, a film, use of a programming area, or even a display. We label such actions as censorship or attempted censorship. But what about self-censorship? Self-censorship in libraries happens when, out of fear or deference to the sensibilities of others (patrons, coworkers, administration, etc,.), but without any overt pressure from anyone in authority, we, or those in charge of material selection, programming, meeting rooms, or displays opt not to purchase, program, or display something that could be perceived as potentially upsetting or controversial.

The OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee's Intellectual Freedom Toolkit may have some good resources for you and your library when thinking about the issues of self-censorship. Its sections and subsequent links for Library Policies and Collection Development each contain helpful articles and other resources. http://www.olaweb.org/intellectual-freedom-toolkit#Development

Additional reading resources regarding self-censorship include but are certainly not limited to:

The New York Library Association's Self-Censorship checklist: http://www.nyla.org/images/nyla/files/Self-Censorship.pdf

And the following linked articles:

Lester Asheim's 2005 article "Not Censorship but Selection",digitally linked from the ALA site: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/censorshipfirstamendmentissues/notcensorship

"Self-Censorship: Let's Talk About It" by Megan Schliesman, Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education University of Wisconsin, Madison:


"A Dirty Little Secret: Self-Censorhip" by Debra Lau Whelan from School Library Journal: http://www.slj.com/2009/02/censorship/a-dirty-little-secret-self-censorship/#_

Questions?  Contact any of these members of the IFC.

Christy Davis cdavis at klamathlibrary.org<mailto:cdavis at klamathlibrary.org>, Member, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Oregon Library Association

Garnetta Wilker <gkwilker2 at gmail.com<http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/listinfo/libs-or>>, Co-Chair, Intellectual Freedom

Committee, Oregon Library Association

Roberta Richards <rrichard at pcc.edu<http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/listinfo/libs-or>>, Co-Chair, Intellectual Freedom

Committee, Oregon Library Association

Candace Morgan <cd_df_morgan at msn.com<http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/listinfo/libs-or>>, Member, Intellectual Freedom

Committee, Oregon Library Association

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