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Showing posts from March, 2017

Intellectual Freedom in Libraries and Museums

On Friday, March 17, I presented with Svetlana Mintcheva of the National Coalition Against Censorship on the topic of Intellectual freedom and museums. Bradley Taylor, a professor of museology for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, has long believed that the value of intellectual freedom has never quite been articulated in the museum world, although it is needed. He held this workshop to start to change that.
Professor Taylor visited me last year to ask me to address what librarians have learned about how to embed this value in a profession. I did some thinking about that, and concluded that there were several steps along the way.
A sign of the times
For the first 60-odd years of American librarianship, our motto was "the best reading for the greatest number at the least cost:" a prescriptive stance that favored serious and canonical reading, mostly non-fiction. But in 1938, amidst a rising tide of anti-immigrant and anti-ethnic fervor, Forrest Spaulding of the Des Moin…