Today I have placed a new widget on my sidebar at the request of Andy Woodworth, a fellow Geektribe member. He feels (and I agree) that far too few librarians report book challenges. At times I wonder if this same group even realizes there is a division of ALA devoted to preserving that freedom to read or that there are provided resources available.
In its entirety, his message and request went like this:
To my fellow librarians,
I’m writing to the people I consider to be the online voices of librarians and librarian values with a personal request. Back in October, I worked with the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom to start an awareness campaign to encourage people to report book challenges and/or removals. I feel that the under-reporting of book challenges represents a major impairment to the proper analysis and defense of intellectual freedom in libraries of all types. With better data and information from increased reporting, we as librarians can get a better grasp as to what materials are getting challenged and why and be able to detect trends and patterns to such activities.
In looking to raise awareness, I am asking you to consider adding a link to your blog sidebar that links to the ALA OIF’s Challenge Reporting website. There is artwork that could go with this link, but a simple descriptive word link would be great as well. So it’s clear, I am doing this on my own; I have not been asked by the ALA OIF to contact bloggers. I’m asking this as a personal request because I was involved in a book removal several years ago that received international attention. At the time, I felt completely helpless and without any form of recourse. Since then, it is my personal motivation and mission to work towards ensuring that no other librarian experiences what I did in the future.
If you are able to, you have my thanks. If you are not, I understand (we’re still cool). Either way, I want to thank you for your time considering what I ask.
Dear Andy, I am only too happy to included and to use my blogger’s voice to spread the word. I will be trying to post the same over at SCASL.net. Note my sidebar widget is in place!!