The Library Bill of Rights: Article l

Over the next 7 weeks, the Faculty at Brookens Library will be sharing a blog series expounding on each article of the Library Bill of Rights. Each of the 6 principles in the Library Bill of Rights broadly outlines an ideal that librarians support and upon which they model behavior, practice, and services. As with most ideals, pursuit of the tenets of the Library Bill of Rights is not an effortless task. Each of the points we’ll be discussing come with their own special challenges and obstacles. Point 1 is no exception:

The Library Bill of Rights (LBR), or as it was originally named, Library’s Bill of Rights, of the American Library Association “serves as the library profession’s interpretation of how the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution applies to libraries” (Office for Intellectual Freedom, 2010, p. xix). Specifically related to the First Amendment, the LBR interprets how “the freedom of speech, or of the press” applies to library practices. The ALA interprets these freedoms broadly to include intellectual freedom, “a freedom of the mind, a personal liberty and a prerequisite for all freedoms [End Page 42] leading to action.” Intellectual freedom is “the bulwark of our constitutional republic . . . [and] . . . the rallying cry of those who struggle for democracy worldwide,” according to the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual, the official interpretive document and guide on implementing the LBR within the context of US libraries (Office for Intellectual Freedom, 2010, pp. xvii–xviii). (Reexamining the Origins of the Adoption of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, p. 1)

The Library Bill of Rights:

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

———————————————————————————————–

WEEK 1

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

The Library Bill of Rights can be thought of as a sort of Hippocratic Oath for librarians. Obviously, the circumstances surrounding a typical librarian’s day to day activity limit our chances to do actual, physical harm – sudden shelf collapses and the adventures medical librarians get up to being notable exceptions. However, as drivers of collections and stewards of information, librarians can have quite an impact on the populations we serve on other ways. Most notably, in terms of access to information.

Our patrons are largely dependent on librarians to create and maintain the collections they use. Though many libraries give their patrons the option of requesting things to be added to the collections, the bulk of the collecting is done by professional librarians. Point one of the Library Bill of Rights places this part of the patron/librarian relationship front and center. It is a commitment to intellectual freedom on our patrons’ behalf. It is also a reminder to librarians to not let our own ideas about ‘proper’ reading material warp our collection.

While this point doesn’t meant that librarians are morally or ethically obligated to include hate speech (for example) in our collections, it does mean that we need to be mindful of our own biases in a general sense. In the past, librarians have had some practices that could be, generously, called shortsighted – even if they were well-intentioned. Specifically, I’m talking about the long history librarians have of self-righteous readers advisory and collections activities.

Briefly speaking, at various points in the history of libraries, certain types of information have been privileged over others. The idea being that librarians were the ideal group of people to determine the relative intellectual value of the items in the library’s collection. In the 20’s and 30’s this meant that nonfiction was overwhelmingly given center stage. It also led to some fairly embarrassing ideas about matching patron types to books in other eras. I have vivid memories of an old library text book on readers advisory that advised librarians to suggest Crime and Punishment as ideal reading material for their patrons that looked like they might be sort who needed the reminder.

At the end of the day, it’s not the place of the librarian to make these sort of deep cutting judgement calls. Librarians have a great amount of potential to influence our patrons, but our collections are just not the right way to exert that power. In the face of the sheer amount of information available today, it is also not an effective strategy. It artificially holds librarians into a very narrow collection focus and, arguably, reduces the effectiveness and usefulness of our collections. It’s much more efficient to teach out patrons how to do that for their own individual needs.

John Laubersheimer, Clinical Assistant Professor/Instructional Services Librarian

Week Two Welcome

Welcome Back!  We hope you had a relaxing winter break. As we enter week 2, we hope that your semester is off to a great start. If you have not done so already, we hope that you’ll reach out to your library liaison should you need materials or instruction for your courses.  Sometimes, a course plan has to change, and should you find that you need materials or instruction later this semester, no worries, we’ll be here then as well. We’re here to help, both at the beginning of the semester, and throughout.  We hope you have an excellent spring semester!

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-3-00-08-pm

 

Warm Wishes from the Library

Let it Snow Brookens Library Chalkboard Art

We hope that this semester has been a successful one for you and your students.  As you wrap up grading and head out for winter break, we’re sure you’re already starting to ponder your spring classes.  As you begin to prepare, we just wanted to remind you that we’re here to help.  Whether you want to create a new research assignment, update an existing one, or embed information literacy instruction into your coursed (both on-ground or online) your library liaison is available to collaborate with you.  For more information about our resources and services, visit our Faculty Resources guide. We hope you have a pleasant and refreshing winter break, and we look forward to working with you in the new year!

Tree Dedication for Jane Treadwell 11/10

Please join us in recognizing the leadership of Jane Treadwell, Dean Emeritus.  The Friends of Brookens Library, along with the library staff, are dedicating a Magnolia tree in appreciation of Treadwell’s nearly 14 years of service to Brookens Library at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

4:00 pm – North East Entrance of Brookens Library

friends-tree-dedication-2016-w

Banned Books Week: Celebrate the Freedom to Read with Brookens Library

ml0a5492_bbw-wbOn Saturday Sept. 24th, the National African American and Culture Museum opened in Washington, D.C.   It will stand as a testament to the fortitude of those who refused to be annihilated physically, emotionally and spiritually.   Not only did most African Americans’ ancestors suffer physical bondage, but they also suffered intellectual bondage – denied the right, by law, even to learn to read.   Just this past week Dr. Carla Hayden was sworn in as the first woman and the first African American to serve as the Librarian of Congress – a symbolic of the move from African American ancestral bondage to custodianship of our nation’s intellectual heritage.

So it is fitting that the grand opening coincides with Banned Books Week, where libraries all over the U.S. honor the freedom to read; a right that applies equally to all U.S. citizens.  Please come to Brookens Library and help us celebrate this right that we all enjoy.  During the week of September 25th through October 1st., we will have books on display that have either been banned (in a bygone era) or in more contemporary times –  challenged.  Come take a selfie with your favorite challenged book or share a photo of your book shelf with your favorite challenged books using the hashtags #UISLib #IReadBannedBooks #FreedomToRead.

 

Faculty Open House: Meet the Dean 9/15

Please join us for the annual Brookens Library Faculty Open House.

Thursday, September 15, 2016
2:00 – 4:00 pm  –   Brookens Library – Lower Level

This year we are welcoming Pattie Piotrowski to Brookens Library
as the new University Librarian and Dean of Library Instructional Services.

Come meet the Dean, learn about your library, and network with your UIS colleagues.
Your library liaison will be available to answer any questions you might have about instruction, our website, materials requests, and more. We hope to see you there!

faculty-meet-the-dean-fall-2016-copy

Meet the Dean – Faculty Open House

Please join us for the annual Brookens Library Faculty Open House.

Thursday, September 15, 2016
2:00 – 4:00 pm  –   Brookens Library – Lower Level

This year we are welcoming Pattie Piotrowski to Brookens Library
as the new University Librarian and Dean of Library Instructional Services.

Come meet the Dean, learn about your library, and network with your UIS colleagues.
Your library liaison will be available to answer any questions you might have about instruction, our website, materials requests, and more. We hope to see you there!

faculty-meet-the-dean-fall-2016-copy

 

Welcome from Dean Piotrowski

Pattie Piotrowski 1webI am Pattie Piotrowski and as new University Librarian and Dean of Library Instructional Services I want to warmly welcome UIS faculty to the Faculty Focus blog, where you can find information intended specifically for YOU! Here you will find information and items of interest that can assist you in your research and class preparation, but which can also assist your students on their way to academic and personal success. Brookens Library provides research materials and support, but we also host activities and events for the campus and community. One upcoming event is intended exclusively for you. On Thursday, September 15 from 2:00-4:00 pm Brookens Library is holding a Faculty Open House, so you can drop by, enjoy some refreshments, and meet with me, and library faculty and staff as well.

In addition to the Faculty Open House, I would also like to share that we have two new faculty joining us at Brookens: Librarians Sally LaJoie and Steven Ward. Sally and Steven will both have departmental liaison duties and can offer research consultations to UIS students.

Good luck with the upcoming academic year and let me know how Brookens Library can best help you.

Welcome Pattie Piotrowski, University Librarian and Dean of Library Instructional Services

Pattie-Piotrowski__BSrevBrookens Library is pleased to welcome Ms. Pattie Piotrowski as she joins us as the new University Librarian and Dean of Library Instructional Services at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Ms. Piotrowski holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Dominican University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She will be coming to us from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she has served as Assistant Dean for Public Services of the Paul V. Galvin Library since 2006. Ms. Piotrowski is a member of the American Library Association and Illinois Library Association, and has held a number of associated leadership positions. She is currently President-Elect of the Illinois Library Association, and she brings a strong background in user-centered services and a collaborative orientation to her leadership responsibilities. She has also been successful in grant-seeking efforts, garnering support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the American Library Association for educational programming. Her most recent journal article, “Identifying and Articulating Library Connections to Student Success”, co-authored with Lisa Massengale and Devin Savage, was published in College & Research Libraries in March.

Ms. Piotrowski’s appointment will begin on August 1, 2016. “I am excited to be joining UIS with its rich history and student diversity,” said Piotrowski. “I look forward to building on the success of Brookens Library, and contributing to the achievements of the university system, its faculty, students, and staff.” Brookens Library looks forward to welcoming her to UIS.

Jane Treadwell, University Librarian to Retire

Please join us as we celebrate the retirement of Jane Treadwell, University Librarian and Dean of Library Instructional Services.

Dean Treadwell has served the University of Illinois Springfield for nearly 14 years in her role. Help us show her how much we appreciate all she has done for Brookens Library, the University and the Friends of Brookens Library on:

Tuesday, April 26  –  3:00 – 5:00 pm  –  PAC Restaurant – University of Illinois Springfield

 

Treadwell_Retirement Invite