29 Sep: How to protect the freedom to read in your library – webinar

Banned Books (Photo by Aimée Hamilton)

Banned Books (Photo by Aimée Hamilton / Index on Censorship)

What do you do when someone 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 while avoiding banning a title? How can you bring attention to the issue of book banning in an effective way?

As part of Banned Books Week (27 September – 3 October), Sage Publications and Index on Censorship are collaborating for a one-hour webinar about protecting and promoting the freedom to read.

When: Tuesday September 29, 5pm UK (9am PST, 10am MST, 11am CST, 12pm EST)
Where: Online
Tickets: Free, but registration is required

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 a Q&A moderated by Vicky Baker, deputy editor of Index on Censorship magazine.