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Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library: Scenarios from the Front Lines

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More About This Textbook

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ruth Cox Clark
The American Library Association (ALA) could not have chosen a better author for this professional tool to help school librarians, as well as administrators and teachers, to effectively respond to intellectual freedom challenges within PK—12 schools. Scales is a well-known First Amendment rights spokesperson in both the public and school library environment. In response to scenarios that may occur in a school library or classroom, Scales uses court opinions, federal and state laws, and ALA documents to offer solutions for responding to infringements. A broad range of potential scenarios—from challenges to materials in both the library and the classroom, the legality of film rating systems, using computerized reading programs as selection tools and labeling books by reading levels, policies for interlibrary loans and reserves to confidentiality of children's and teens' circulation records—are covered. Sidebars offer checklists related to selection tools, selection criteria, Internet access, acceptable-use policies, labeling and privacy, and library access. Appendixes provide a must-read synopsis of "Minors First Amendment Rights to Access Information" by Theresa Chamara and address the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom's "Workbook for Selection Policy Writing." Rounded out by a comprehensive index that ensures quick access to subjects, laws, and court cases, this resource should be in every school library's professional collection. Some of the scenarios addressed could also happen in a public library environment, making it a useful resource for YA librarians as well. Reviewer: Ruth Cox Clark
School Library Journal
This brief book uses case studies to illustrate real-life scenarios that school librarians are apt to confront, countering each situation with a recommended course of action that focuses on protecting students’ First Amendment rights, intellectual freedom, and privacy. Scales includes useful documents, or links to documents, that support suggested resolutions. They include ALA resources, and court decisions and legal statutes most of which have been condensed or edited for length and include an explanation of the salient points. Each chapter offers valuable insight and will impel librarians to reflect upon the practices and policies in their own libraries. The section “Internet Access” provides useful information about dealing with the technology department to unblock sites by explaining the “harmful to minors” clause in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). However, the focus of this section is on filtering and accessing information and there is little mention of Web 2.0 tools and a student’s right to use the Internet as a forum to create and share information. While this book was published before ALA’s July 2009 document “Minors and Internet Interactivity,” which encourages librarians to champion intellectual freedom and advocate for student access to Web 2.0 tools so they can actively participate in online learning communities, it is still a useful compendium. –Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838935811
  • Publisher: American Library Association
  • Publication date: 5/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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