Thursday, January 29, 2009

Diversity video mentions FTR

As it has probably become painfully obvious, I am a very visual person so I love connecting people to ideas via multimedia... somehow art, music, videos, movies, etc. always help me understand a new concept or idea much faster than if I just read it in plain text.

Don't get me wrong- text is good. I love text! I love reading! I love reading text in all its forms- paper, codices, digital, textiles, papyrus, on the side of buildings, you name it! However, I also love the notion of approaching knowledge from a variety of angles in order to reinforce the message and encourage a deeper connection and understanding.

In a former life, I was an art historian. Now I plan to connect my past and present interests (and degrees!) in a future of art librarianship... go figure on my pedagogical tendencies, eh...?! :)

Where am I going with all this, you might be asking yourself right now...?

Really, I was trying to find an excuse or reason to post a link to a silly yet very cute song I found written and performed by a librarian (who is also an ALA Spectrum Scholar! Yeah, girl!). In it, she mentions the many duties and principles a librarian must or should uphold, including the Freedom to Read...

Here it is: The Librarian's Song!!!

p.s. I would also like to add that part of my support for maintaining intellectual freedom is due to my love for visual arts. The visual arts can sometimes be a touchy subject because works can be easily misunderstood at times and prone to controversy due to different interpretations and boundaries...

Library Lovers Month

February is "Library Lovers Month"!!!

What a great time to celebrate the knowledge, joy, entertainment, satisfaction, stimulation, programming, support, and protection to access resources our libraries give us...

Here are a few links I found that can help you and others support and learn more about libraries:
  • I Love Libraries is a website created by the American Library Association (ALA) "designed for the people who use and love libraries. We want to keep you informed about everything libraries have to offer, as well as develop new ways to involve you in their continued health and vitality."
  • Library Lovers' Month contains poems, valentines, postcards, and various other ideas for showing your appreciation to libraries
I really like the idea of showing appreciation to your favorite library(-ies) since they are one of the hardest working voices in intellectual freedom...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

KCLS training video on Intellectual Freedom

I found this interesting video posted on YouTube that is used by the King County Library System (KCLS) for a class on intellectual freedom. If I'm not mistaken, one of our profs plays a starring role...

I love the section dedicated to "the many faces of disapproval." I'll need to practice my "neutral face" in the mirror...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another potential topic relating to intellectual freedom but not in a library (unless you count my ragtag assortment of art history, Italian language, library and information science, pregnancy and childraising, cookbooks, "romantic mysteries," and travel books as a library? If so, I would call it the Campbell Clan Library and finally buy the personal library kit I've been dreaming of for years but too embarrassed to buy!)...Wait, where was I? Another potential topic for this blog!

I'm starting to wonder if I'm censoring my son when I use the Internet filters on our new "family" computer. He's 4 1/2 and already a whiz on the computer (in October, he taught his Grandma how to use a laptop!). Mostly he just loves to play preschool games on the Noggin website or other educational games on cd-roms. He doesn't really "surf the Internet" so to speak, although sometimes he likes to search YouTube for free music videos (he loves the Beastie Boys).

In any case, I set up the Internet filters in order to avoid any accidental nudity, violence, etc. from creeping in because that seemed like the right thing to do. I know that ALA's position is that parents need to monitor their children's materials and decide what is best for their kids, what they can handle, etc. And that's what I'm trying to do but really I don't know if the filters are worthwhile, worth the effort, or accomplishing anything. First of all, I deliberately placed the computer in the living room so I could see and hear what he is up to so I would know if he were looking at "naughty" things. Then again, a pop up or a link to website containing nakedness isn't going to be stopped by my presence in the room...

Truth be told, I find the filters to be a pain because they often block or flag perfectly acceptable "kid" websites so I have to authorize every game, video, link, etc. that my son wants to access. And, believe me, he doesn't have a large attention span so having to perform these authorizations every two minutes quickly gets old. I've set up separate user accounts on the computer so this doesn't really affect me when I'm using it but still... I liken it to having the babysitter call you constantly when you are out on an infrequent date night- what's the point if you have to babysit the babysitter...?

Ultimately, I am pretty sure that I am going to remove or lessen the filters I've set up because I just don't think they are worth the extra effort right now. I think the most important thing is that I maintain an active role in my son's screen time, monitor what he is doing, and talk to him about what activities are acceptable or not. Maybe in a few years when he starts to notice things like girls, etc., I'll change me position. For right now, I'm going to fire the babysitter and take over the entire job for myself...

Online Intellectual Freedom Blog criteria

Assignment directions:

Keep an online Intellectual Freedom blog, diary, wiki or web page, creating at least one entry per week to reflect your awareness of intellectual freedom issues. Entries may be reflections on IF issues reported in class or in the news; or about something you’ve read on an IF forum; or perhaps you decide to read a banned book during the week, and report on that. The purpose of the blog is to keep you thinking about the topic when you’re outside of class, and to keep yourself versed on the issues.

So listed above are the directions for writing and maintaining this blog...I like that we have a lot of leeway with this assignment but then again, all that freedom sorta makes me run wild, directionless in the face of so many potential directions. Yes, the irony has been duly noted.

All week, my mind has been racing, trying to come up with a super witty and well formed entry that will just blow the socks off readers of blogs dedicated to IF in many choices, so many options, everywhere I look I keep coming across potential topics. For example, in the current issue of the ALA magazine "American Libraries," I suddenly noticed the section entitled to Censorship Watch. I've been a member of ALA and reading the magazine for over two years now but somehow my eyes and mind just glazed over that section. Sure, I read it but I wasn't really thinking about the greater issues of intellectual freedom and censorship in libraries.

It's like someone flipped on the lights and I can see questions and issues related to IF and censorship everywhere! Ah, the beauty of gaining new knowledge...I love that initial thrill of diving into a new topic. It's almost like the rush I get when I start a new fiction book or the exciting get-to-know-you period when starting a new relationship. So I guess it's official, my love affair with IF has begun.

Stay tuned for another episode of The Young and the Restless Librarian...Did I mention my maiden name is Young? I think all this freedom has gone to my head faster that a dirty double martini. Suddenly, I'm thirsty!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Setup complete!?

I have almost finished setting up this blog which is pretty exciting because this is a new experience for me. I've always wondered how writing a blog actually worked so I guess I am about to find out...

In any case, I set up this blog for LIS 551 Intellectual Freedom in Libraries, an online course I am taking this quarter at the University of Washington's iSchool. As the blog's title suggests, this space will be dedicated to addressing issues pertaining to Intellectual Freedom (IF) in libraries...

Now let's publish this post and see if I did it right...?!