Intellectual Freedom Is Meaningless Without Social Justice
Thursday, June 24, 2021
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM CT
ALA Unit/Subunit: IFRT; SRRT
Conversations about intellectual freedom often center on the idea that libraries must be neutral on issues of speech. But this framing fails to recognize the power dynamics at work in our society, and how protecting free speech without relating it to social justice issues harms the marginalized and protects the powerful or intolerant. Join Alison Macrina of Library Freedom Project for a conversation about whose speech is actually being suppressed, how we can begin to reframe conversations about intellectual freedom to always include justice and power, and what steps librarians can take to reflect this view in our libraries. This talk will summarize the current "neutrality" debate in libraries, reflect on how these trends are at work in broader society, and then imagine what intellectual freedom looks like through a social justice lens.
Understand current conversations about free speech and neutrality in libraries.
Understand how library debates about free speech reflect broader social trends.
Learn how to reframe conversations about free speech to include a social justice lens.