[Libs-Or] Tuesday Topic: Library policies and intellectual freedom

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Tue May 9 11:35:38 PDT 2017

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Welcome to Tuesday Topics, a monthly series covering topics with intellectual freedom implications for libraries of all types.  Each message is prepared by a member of Oregon Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee. 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=523:intellectual-freedom-about-us&catid=20:site-content>. If you prefer this information in another format feel free to print the attached PDF.

This month the Intellectual Freedom Committee is getting back to the basics-library policy!

At the OLA Annual Conference last month, we presented a pre-conference about best practices and advice for writing policies related to intellectual freedom. The pre-conference included a panel presentation by Adriene Lim from University of Oregon, Buzzy Nielsen from Crook County Library, Cindy Gibbon from Multnomah County Library, and Steve Silver from Northwest Christian University.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee, with feedback from the panelists, created a list of resources to help academic and public library staff draft library policies related to intellectual freedom issues. The resources range from general guidelines about how to draft all types of policies to specific polities like collection development and exhibits. The resource list if available on Northwest Central<http://b8f.645.myftpupload.com/> and is attached to this email.

Best practices and advice:

*         Create a regular schedule to review and update your policies-a regular schedule might be to review each policy once a year, every other year, or every five years.

*         Create a very simple process that explains who is responsible for which tasks-i.e. how much should the governing body and staff be involved in the process, what stages of the process do they need to be engaged, and who has to approve it?

*         Decide how you are going to communicate about policies updates with your staff and governing body

*         Get at least three up-to-date examples of the policy from other libraries so you have an idea what common, current practices are regarding that policy.

*         Look up Oregon library laws to find out what, if any laws are relevant to your policy.

o   If there is a law related to your policy, seek legal counsel before the governing body approves it.

*         Plan how to communicate the policy to your patrons-it may just be posting it on your website with no fan-fare, it may be printing several copies and posting one copy by each public access computer. Decide based on the policy.

*         Use ALA's Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of Policies

Katie Anderson
Youth Services Consultant
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us> | 503-378-2528 | www.oregon.gov/osl/ld<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/ld>
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