IS 200 Information in Society

Preparation for the Discussion Groups in Week Seven, Nov 13

  • To what extent are free speech and anti-censorship positions fundamental traditions to our professions?  As our professions change, do we need to modify these positions?
  • Discuss how to handle situations when our anti-censorship traditions appear to clash with some of our other traditions (such as when material reflects gender and racial stereotypes, or when a donor will not give us special collection materials without placing use restrictions on it).
  • For what type of materials are age restrictions appropriate?  A general concensus in the library community has been that teaching kids to avoid certain types of material is preferable to imposing physical restrictions on that material.  Is this a viable position for all ages of kids?
  • ALA has taken such a strong stand on free speech and filtering issues that commentators such as Dr. Laura have called librarians pornographers.  Because we're now in the center of such a contraversy that has already started to affect library funding, was the strong stand of our professional organization a mistake?