Nationwide protests around political and social issues in recent years have seen a corresponding increase of violence towards participants and media covering these events by law enforcement. For example, The Guardian found 148 examples of media being attacked or arrested while covering protests that occurred following the death of George Floyd. These arrests and attacks violate the First Amendment rights of protestors and the media. This session, hosted by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, will review how libraries can engage their communities in conversation about these important civil liberties and what actions libraries can take to support these rights. What can libraries and library staff do to support the protections granted by the First Amendment?
The participants will be able to identify and explain the First Amendment rights related to freedom of the press, right of assembly, and the right to protest.
The participants will be equipped with the tools to develop programming and initiatives at their library to promote civic engagement around First Amendment rights.