Tagged with " intellectual freedom"
UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies professor Dr. Nadine Kozak and CIPR Director Dr. Michael Zimmer have received funding from the UW-Milwaukee “Research Growth Initiative” internal grant program to launch a new research project called: “Assessing the Implementation of CIPA-Mandated Internet Filtering in U.S. Public Libraries.”
From the project abstract:
Access to information is an essential human right and ensuring universal access to the internet has been recognized as a vital ingredient for fulfilling this human right. While libraries have emerged as a critical source of providing free internet access within the United States, legislation has threatened free and unfettered access to information online. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) mandates libraries filter internet access in certain circumstances. While many studies have assessed the efficacy of internet filters, we propose a large-scale investigation of how libraries are implementing CIPA-mandated filtering – along with the legal exception to remove the filters for adults on-demand – to better understand the impact of CIPA “as applied” within library settings.
We are particularly interested in investigating three central issues related to CIPA-mandating filtering. First, what kind of (formal and informal) procedures are in place at libraries to turn off internet filtering when requested by an adult patron; second, how do these procedures play out “on the ground” when librarians are faced with such patron requests; and third, what are the technical complexities in honoring such a request (i.e., can filtering software be modified for a particular computer only, can the filters be modified only for the specific need requested, can the modification be made at the physical location of the library in question, etc.).
To begin exploring these issues, our pilot study will focus on libraries within a 100-mile radius of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which are required to be CIPA-compliant due to the acceptance of E-Rate funding. We will conduct in-person, unstructured interviews with various institutional actors at each library, including the library director, staff librarians who receive requests from patrons to remove internet filters, and system administrators who maintain the filtering software. The interview questions will focus on gaining a better understanding of how particular libraries chose to apply for E-Rate funding and be required to filter internet access as well as an understanding of the process through which filtering software is turned off in the event that an adult patron requests it. In addition to creating publishable research, the initial interviews will inform the creation of a survey instrument to be used in a national survey of CIPA-compliance at U.S. libraries.
The project will be housed at the UW-Milwaukee Center for Information Policy Research, and will run from July 2017 through December 2018.
CIPR director Michael Zimmer has been appointed Editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy (JIFP), published by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.
Journal of Intellectual Freedom & Privacy incorporates many of the features of the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom. Readers will still read in each issue about the latest incidents of book banning in “censorship dateline,” the latest court rulings in “from the bench,” legal controversies in “is it legal?” and, of course, “success stories.” New ALA intellectual freedom policies and reports to the ALA Council from the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Freedom to Read Foundation will also continue to appear.
The new journal will add refereed essays and peer-reviewed articles on intellectual freedom and privacy, as well as book reviews, legal briefs and opinion pieces. The goal is to have JIFP at the center of discourse on intellectual freedom and privacy issues in libraries.
Marti Koller, English Department Chair at the Baldwin-Woodville High School in northeastern Wisconsin, has been named the winner of the 2015 WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award. The award is given jointly by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA).
A long-time advocate of intellectual freedom, Koller has battled censorship and educated students about the principles of intellectual freedom and first amendment rights. In her work as a classroom teacher she has incorporated awareness of free speech, censorship, and intellectual freedom into the curriculum to inform and empower students on their academic journeys and beyond into their adult lives. Koller has resisted efforts to restrict content and materials, as well as holding administration accountable for following school board policy in formal reconsideration of materials both in her classes and in others.
The authors of the nomination letter recommending Koller wrote “on multiple occasions, she has lead a charge to protect the shelves at Baldwin-Woodville High School. She has defended not only content in our district, but also the proper process of challenges” and “she has pioneered a focus on censorship issues in each of her classes…her leadership has been essential in the growth of staff, students, and community.” Furthermore, “as a result [of her efforts] I believe there is increased reluctance by school officials to circumvent the established process and arbitrarily remove or restrict materials.”
Koller will be honored at the WEMTA Awards Luncheon on Monday, March 23, 2015 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Recognition will also be given during the WLA Conference in the Fall, 2015.
Since 2010, WLA and WEMTA have collaborated to give the annual intellectual freedom award. This award recognizes the contribution of an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Wisconsin. Funding for the award is generously provided by TeachingBooks.net and the Center for Information Policy Research at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The UW-Milwaukee Center for Information Policy Research is excited to welcome Prof. Neil Richards for a talk about his new book Intellectual Privacy in celebration of Choose Privacy Week, the annual initiative of the American Library Association that invites the public into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age.
Choose Privacy Week 2015 with Prof. Neil Richards
Monday, May 4, 2015
Alumni Fireside Lounge
UW-Milwaukee Student Union
2200 East Kenwood Boulevard, Milwaukee WI 53211
About Intellectual Privacy:
Most people believe that the right to privacy is inherently at odds with the right to free speech. Courts all over the world have struggled with how to reconcile the problems of media gossip with our commitment to free and open public debate for over a century. The rise of the Internet has made this problem more urgent. We live in an age of corporate and government surveillance of our lives. And our free speech culture has created an anything-goes environment on the web, where offensive and hurtful speech about others is rife. (More…)
Neil Richards is an internationally-recognized expert in privacy law, information law, and freedom of expression. He is a professor of law at Washington University School of Law, a member of the Advisory Board of the Future of Privacy Forum, and a consultant and expert in privacy cases. He graduated in 1997 from the University of Virginia School of Law, and served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. His first book, Intellectual Privacy, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.
The Center for Information Policy has been a proud supporter of Choose Privacy Week since its inception in 2010. Past events have included a panel discussion on “Emerging Privacy and Ethical Challenges for Libraries in the 2.0 Era” (2010), participation in an ALA webinar on “Youth Privacy” (2011), the screening of the documentary “Big Brother, Big Business: The Data-Mining and Surveillance Industries” (2012), and hosting a talk by Dr. Kelly Gates on “The Computational Work of Policing” (2013).
To assist in research on intellectual freedom and the rights of library patrons to read, seek information, and speak freely, the Center for Information Policy Research has launched an archive of challenges to public library materials, currently housed at the Digital Commons at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.
We strive to collect and make available all relevant complaint materials, news reports, public comments, relevant communications available through public records requests. The archive currently contains materials related to the 2009 challenge at the West Bend (WI) Community Memorial Library, which was recently featured in a a special issue of Library Trends, and we are currently collecting materials related to the 2013 challenge at Orland Park Public Library (IL).
Former CIPR co-director, Dr. Joyce Latham, along with Barbara Jones, director of the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, have edited a special issue of Library Trends dedicated to the 2009 controversy over select Young Adult books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library.
The special issue, titled “The West Bend Challenges: Open Access and Intellectual Freedom in the Twenty-First Century“ serves as “a case study of a library confronting organized challenge to its execution of its role in American culture,” and the articles contained within the issue reflect a broad range of important perspectives to help understand the West Bend controversy, and apply its lessons beyond the borders of this Wisconsin city:
This issue of Library Trends is a case study in intellectual freedom and the conflicts that so often surround it (Appendix I and Appendix II in this issue provide statements on the matter of intellectual freedom by the American Library Association). The case study is a research tool that can be used to advance a range of social inquiries, allowing investigators to study “how general social forces take shape and produce results in specific settings” (Walton, 2009, p. 122). Case-based research allows investigators to explore one event, institution, or organization from multiple angles. The particular focus encourages a detailed description that can expose multiple themes related to the case, enriching the analysis. West Bend Community Memorial Library (WBCML) was selected for this study because of the complexity of the events and their visibility. The availability of documents and digital exchanges generated by multiple participants related to the “materials challenges” and professional authority support a robust research process. This study investigates the strategies of conservative social agents in their attempts to recast the role of the public library as a negative element in advancing the public good.
But it is also a case study of the resistance to the expansion of the public sphere to include traditionally marginalized populations, such as GLBTQ populations. In her essay in this issue of Library Trends, Loretta Gaffney argues that, in the view of the challengers, “any GLTBQ content in YA literature was propaganda aimed at indoctrinating youth with the view that homosexuality was normal,” which violated their family values. As Michael Zimmer and Adriana McCleer indicate in their essay, the WBCML controversy was one in a string of social disruptions focused on school budgets, social climate, and education. Coalitions of conservative and religious groups aligned with social reactionaries to impact social progress toward open inquiry and inclusivity, anchored in a rhetoric of public stability.
This collection of essays provides context for understanding the challenges by situating them in the community of West Bend, exploring the relationship of the West Bend challengers to their predecessors, analyzing the language employed by the challengers in reference to that employed by the library profession, theorizing the motivations and success of the library’s grassroots supporters, and, finally, revisiting the policies currently in place intended to facilitate dialogue about library services among professionals and community stakeholders.
Contributions include a summary of the West Bend case co-authored by CIPR Director Michael Zimmer and SOIS PhD student Adriana McCleer, as well as insights by former CIPR fellow Loretta Gaffney addressing the issue of YA literature and its relationship to conservative activism; Emily Knox analyzing the various interpretations of “censorship” as a broader concept, and a specific one within the West Bend debates; Mark Peterson exploring the role of the counter-movement within the controversy, and the question of whether a public sphere can actually function in American society; and former CIPR fellow Jean Preer surveying the challenge process within Wisconsin public libraries, and produces a trenchant analysis of “best practices” for addressing intellectual freedom practices within a public library’s community.
Megan Schliesman, a long-time librarian at the Cooperative Children’s Books Center(CCBC) of the School of Education at UW-Madison and manager of its intellectual freedom services for the past eleven years, is the winner of the 2014 Intellectual Freedom Award. The award is given jointly by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA).
Besides managing the CCBC Intellectual Freedom Information Services, Schliesman also manages its online forum, “What IF . . . Questions and Answers on Intellectual Freedom.” She currently serves on the American Library Association/Association for Library Service to Children Board, and is a past member of the ALA/ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee. She is past chair of the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association’s Intellectual Freedom Special Interest Group, and a past member of the Wisconsin Library Association Intellectual Freedom Roundtable board.
The authors of the nomination letter recommending Schliesman note, “Megan exemplifies the spirit of intellectual freedom through her unflagging support for those defending against censorship and her outreach to inform others about intellectual freedom. Being a librarian at the CCBC is more than a job for Megan, it is a calling that she takes seriously. Wisconsin is fortunate to have Megan as an intellectual freedom advocate and defender of minors’ First Amendment right to read.”
Schliesman will be honored at the WEMTA Awards Luncheon on Monday, March 24, 2014 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Recognition will also be given during the WLA Conference in the Fall, 2014.
Since 2010, WLA and WEMTA have collaborated to give the annual intellectual freedom award. This award recognizes the contribution of an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Wisconsin. Funding for the award is generously provided by TeachingBooks.net and the Center for Information Policy Research at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
To kick off 2013 Banned Books Week, the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies and UWM’s Center for Information Policy Research is partnering with the Milwaukee Public Library to host a special lecture by Barbara Jones, Director of the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom:
CANARIES IN THE COAL MINE:
How Libraries Fight for Free Speech, Freedome from Surveillance, and Democratic Values
September 22, 2013
6:00 – 8:00pm
Milwaukee Public Library
Centennial Hall – Loos Room
733 N Eighth Street Milwaukee, WI 53233
Barbara M. Jones
Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association
Executive Director, Freedom to Read Foundation
RSVP at: http://sois.uwm.edu/banned2013
CIPR Director, Michael Zimmer, has been invited to join a gathering of national library, education, technology, legal and policy experts for a national symposium hosted by the American Library Association and Google considering the impact of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) on access to electronic information July 29 and 30. Librarians & researchers nationwide can join the virtual conversation with two Google Hangouts on July 30.
The first Hangout will start at 11 a.m. EDT and focus on an “Introduction and Overview of CIPA 10 Years Later.” The second one will share “Symposium Themes and Conclusions” starting at 12:15 p.m. EDT. Participants will join a wide range of experts as they share insights looking at legal, ethical, and political implications of how the CIPA requirements have been implemented in the past 10 years. Did CIPA meet its intended goals, and have there been unintended consequences?
“Revisiting the Children’s Internet Protection Act: 10 Years Later” is part of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and Office for Intellectual Freedom’s (OIF) larger project on CIPA and access to information, made possible through support of Google, Inc. A white paper will be released this fall.
Here’s how to join the conversation:
- You can watch the live stream directly on YouTube on the ALA Washington Office channel. ALA will tweet the URL using #CIPA_ALA13 at 10:45am EST, right before the Hangout goes live.
- You can also tweet @oitp using our hash tag #CIPA_ALA13. We’ll be watching the Twitter feed and passing these comments to the speakers, as well.
Participants are encouraged to actively share their experiences, reflections and questions via tweets and online comment boards. ALA will use the back-channel conversation to inform our ongoing work on libraries and the impacts of filtering on access to information.
The Hangouts also will be archived on the ALA Washington Office YouTube channel after the event.
CIPR faculty fellow Dr. Jean Preer (SLIS-Indiana) will be presenting her research “Prepare to be Challenged!” at the 2012 annual conference of the Wisconsin Library Association.
While most public libraries now have some sort of process allowing challenges to works in their collection some may find objectionable, the controversy in West Bend, Wisconsin, provides an opportunity to reexamine this process and explore how it can best serve the interests of both the library and concerned patrons. The program will discuss a survey of the challenge procedures and forms adopted by Wisconsin public libraries. Using hands-on exercises and role plays, participants will consider the variety of mechanisms currently in place and address such questions as standing to challenge a work in a public library collection, the role of the library’s collection development policy, the make-up of any challenge review committee, the option to appeal the committee’s determination, compliance with open meeting laws, and the time frame for decision. By providing a forum for opposing points of view, the challenge process can affirm the library’s commitment to intellectual freedom and educate the community about its stake in free access to information. A closer look at the challenge procedure can suggest ways in which it might accomplish both more effectively.
The presentation is Thursday, October 25 from 2:15-3:30 at the La Crosse Center.