The Library Bill of Rights

Over the past 6 weeks, the Faculty at Brookens Library developed 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. 

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.

Below you will find each blog post published as a part of this series.

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.
https://brkfacultyfocus.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/the-library-bill-of-rights-week-

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.
https://brkfacultyfocus.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/the-library-bill-or-rights-article-ll/

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
https://brkfacultyfocus.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/the-library-bill-of-rights-article-

IV: Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
https://brkfacultyfocus.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/the-library-bill-of-rights-article-iv/

V: A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
https://brkfacultyfocus.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/the-library-bill-of-rights-article

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.

https://brkfacultyfocus.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/the-library-bill-of-rights-article-vi/

The Library Bill of Rights exists as an ethical statement – libraries are for the people, all of the people. Inclusion is at the heart of every library and librarians share a common set of principles about their work. During difficult times, it can be easy to forget what we stand for and The Library Bill of Rights acts as a steadfast reminder. In the simplest terms, libraries are inclusive spaces that foster access, preservation, freedom of expression, and community engagement.

Interpretations are often nuanced and incomplete. Over the last 6 weeks we’ve shared our interpretations of The Library Bill of Rights with you and now it’s your turn to join in the conversation. Do you believe that these tenets have stood the test of time? Do you see areas in which the core beliefs of academia and the core beliefs of libraries intersect?

Contact us if you’d like to share your interpretations of The Library Bill of Rights with our readers.

Written By: Nancy Weichert, Clinical Assistant Professor/ Instructional Services Librarian

 

The Library Bill of Rights, Article V

Over a 7 week period, 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. 

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 5

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

In many ways, libraries are the great equalizer. No matter your educational background, your age, your beliefs, or any other aspect of your identity, libraries are open to all, so that all may obtain the resources they need. Creating and maintaining diverse collections, providing unfiltered access to the Internet, and making costly subscription-based online resources available is our foundation. But these collections and services would be meaningless if we limited access to select groups of people. For that reason, I find article 5 of the Library Bill of Rights to be the most impactful.

As an academic library serving a campus community, our primary focus is the university’s student, staff, and faculty. But our resources and services are not limited to those populations. Our doors are open to all. Research is not exclusively done by those with access to a college education. Using computers and the internet are more increasingly the only way to participate in certain basic functions of daily life, and information literacy is not a skill just for the classroom, but for life. Serving Springfield and beyond is an important part of our job.

This openness extends beyond serving patrons who are not affiliated with our university, but has a much broader scope. Brookens, like all libraries adhering to the Library Bill of Rights, places no limitations on patrons based on their origin, age, background, or views. Just like we make both sides of the issue available in our collections, we make that collection available to those with beliefs on either side of the issue, as well as those in-between and undecided. Additionally, we make no assumptions about what people of particular groups will want or need when providing resources. Instead, deciding what resources are appropriate or of interest is entirely up to each individual to decide, and they will be able to do so without censorship or judgment.

It is our honor to serve our UIS community as well as the community at-large and our responsibility to continue to advocate for their right to access the information all of our patrons need or desire.

Written By: Sarah Sagmoen, Director of Learning Commons and User Services

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

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

Faculty Open House

Annual Brookens Library Faculty Open House

Please join us for coffee, desserts, and discussion.  Your library liaison will be available to answer any questions you might have about instruction, our new website, materials requests, PlumX, Get it Now, IDEALS, or other library resources and services.  Hope to see you there.

Faculty Open House 2016W8

MARCH: The Struggle for Racial Equality and Social Justice

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 12.03.48 PMAs you may have seen on campus, in the State Journal Register, in the Illinois Times, or on WUIS, One Book, One UIS is bringing Congressman John Lewis, co-author Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell to UIS to speak about their graphic memoir, MARCH, as the keynote lecture for the community read initiative. The lecture and discussion will take place at the University of Illinois Springfield Sangamon Auditorium today Monday,  October 19th at 7:00 pm. Tickets are free and available to the public by calling the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at (217) 206-6160.

We hope you can join us for this exciting event!

Picking Your Topic IS Research

There is an important step in the research process that is often overlooked: selecting a topic. Too often students let their passion for a topic run away with them and forget to consider if it is appropriate for the assignment. And in some cases even when they start to struggle with their topic, they are hesitant to change it after getting started. We’re sure you see this in class, we certainly see it in the library. Today, we’re highlighting an excellent resource that you can use to introduce the idea that selecting a topic is part of the research process, not something you do before you begin to research. It’s a go-to resource for us, and hope it will be for you too. This short, and fun, video from North Carolina State University Libraries is a great way to start a dialogue about how best to go about selecting a topic.

http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/tutorials/picking_topic/

Of course, this can lead to discussions about how to dissect assignments and begin researching once a topic has been selected. Our librarians are equipped with activities and more than happy to provide instruction to your students on any of these topics. Be sure to contact your library liaison with any questions or to set up an instruction session.

“March” Selected As 2015/2016 One Book

BookMark2
MARCH, a graphic memoir about the life of civil rights icon John Lewis, has been chosen by the One Book, One UIS Planning Committee as the campus community read for the 2015/2016 academic year.   Congressman Lewis, co-author Andrew Aydin and Illustrator Nate Powell have agreed to speak at UIS. Their presentation will be on Monday, October 19 at 7:00 in Sangamon Auditorium.

Contact: Should you wish to include MARCH in a course during the 2015/2016 academic year, please contact Karen Moranski at kmora1@uis.edu or 217-206-7440; or Kimberly Craig at kcrai01s@uis.edu or 217-206-6245.  For any other information about the 2015/2016 choice please contact Janelle Gurnsey in the Brookens Library: gurnsey.janelle@uis.edu or 217-206-8451.  We will release information about additional programming as it is planned.  For more information about the One Book, One UIS program, including selection criteria, please see: www.onebookoneuis.com.

Congressman John Lewis
John Lewis has been a member of the United States House of Representatives since 1986, representing the Georgia 5th District.  Born the son of sharecroppers in Pike County, Alabama, Lewis became a civil rights activist while a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, organizing sit-ins and participating in freedom rides.  From 1963-1966, Lewis chaired the Student Nonviolent Organizing Committee (SNCC) of which he was a founder.
The title of the book MARCH comes from the many marches that Lewis organized or participated in, including one of the most well-remembered moments in civil rights history—the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965.  Lewis was one of the organizers of the march, which drew nationwide attention when the non-violent marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers.  Many historians believe that the images of cruelty from the Selma march were a factor in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Over the years, Lewis has received many prestigious awards, including the Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian honor) and the only John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award ever granted by the John F. Kennedy Foundation.  He has recently been named as the recipient of the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government given each year by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs of the University of Illinois.  A ceremony to present the award to Congressman Lewis, hosted by Senator Dick Durbin, will be held on April 29 in Washington, DC.

MARCH
MARCH is planned as a three-volume trilogy.  At UIS, we will be reading volumes one and two.  MARCH: Book One has received numerous awards, including a 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award and an ALA Notable Children’s Book designation.  It was also named a “Top Ten Graphic Novel for Teens” by the Young Adults Library Services Association (YALSA) of ALA and made the “best books of 2013” lists of USA Today, The Washington Post, Slate and others.  MARCH: Book Two has just been published and has already garnered a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

 

Sagmoen Selected to Synergy

Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative Announces Participants

Thirty Illinois librarians have been selected to participate in the tenth year of “Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative,” a unique yearlong program designed to develop future leaders in the library profession and in the Illinois community. One of the participants selected is Brookens Librarian, Sarah Sagmoen. Sagmoen is the Director of Learning Commons and User Services.
The group of 30 librarians will attend three sessions over a six-month period and will work in a leadership environment with other emerging leaders, experienced Illinois library leaders and nationally recognized speakers. The goal of the program is for each individual to develop leadership skills that can be applied in local, state and global arenas.

The 30 librarians selected to participate are:

Deborah Althoff Will, Zion-Benton Township High School
Barbara Alvarez, Barrington Area Library
Becca Boland, Hinsdale Public Library
Sarah McHone-Chase, Northern Illinois University Libraries
Heather Colby, Homer Township Public Library
Joe Collier, Mount Prospect Public Library
David Ehrenhart, Illinois Fire Service Institute Library
Gwen Gregory, University of Illinois at Chicago Library
Yi Han, Paul V. Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology
Keisha Hester, Calumet City Public Library
Amy Ihnen, Chatham Area Public Library
Sonya Johnson, Decatur Public Schools District 61
Emily Klonicki, Ella Johnson Memorial Public Library
Amy Koester, Skokie Public Library
Emily Kofoid, St. Charles Public Library
Taran Ley, Illinois State Library
Joanna Marek, Spring Avenue Elementary School
Vanessa Morrison, Franklin Park Public Library District
Ariel Orlov, Dominican University, Rebecca Crown Library
Sia Paganis, Spring Wood Middle School
Young Park, Chicago Public Library – Albany Park Branch
Bobbi M. Perryman, Vespasian Warner Public Library
Lauren Rosenthal, Fox River Valley Public Library District
Dana Russell, New Lenox Public Library
Sarah Sagmoen, Brookens Library, University of Illinois Springfield
Leander Spearman, Belleville Public Library
Soon Har Tan, Itasca Community Library
Anne Thompson, Evergreen Park School District #124
Leah L. White, Ela Area Public Library
Carrie A. Zamorano, Woodstock Public Library