Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Audience Comments & Concerns from “Academic and Intellectual Freedom Climate on Campus”

Friday, July 24th, 2009

On July 11, 2009, the ACRL Intellectual Freedom Committee held the program “Academic and Intellectual Freedom Climate on Campus: Are Our Freedoms Secure in the Next Generation?”  As part of the presentation, we asked the audience members to jot down the top three concerns or threats to intellectual freedom on their campuses. Twenty-two of the seventy audience members did so. The committee members used these comments as inspiration for questions for our three speakers–James Neal, Barbara Fister, and Shawn Healy. The IFC will also use them in planning future programs and projects.

The responses we received are attached to this posting. They are well worth giving a look. Some provide frontline details from librarians grappling with these issues. Others are more suggestive. Both offer substantial food for thought.

In the quick analysis the committee performed while the program was in progress, the most prominent threats to campus intellectual freedom seemed to be

  • Apathy
  • Absence of an intellectual climate (higher ed as job preparation)
  • Conformity (intolerance for diverse opinion)
  • Internet filtering and monitoring
  • Concern of campus administration with public relations and controlling image

I think these five comments will merit discussion here in the weeks to come.

—Paul Beavers

Audience Comments from ACRL IFC Annual Conference Program, Chicago 2009

Alternative Media Reception at ALA Annual

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

from the Alternatives in Media Task Force and the Alternative Press Center:

On Monday, July 13, from 7-10 pm, the Alternative Media Reception (ALA Annual, Chicago) will join forces with the SRRT 40th Anniversary Celebration in a not-to-be-missed event featuring great food, drink, and music as well as books, zines, and other materials from progressive publishers in Chicago and all over North America.

The location is at Experimental Station, in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Experimental Station takes its name from a 1901 Frank Lloyd Wright speech, “The Art and Craft of the Machine”, and is occupied by various collaborative projects in independent publishing, contemporary art, experimental music, organic gardening, bulk food purchasing, ecological initiatives and youth education. The event is accessible via public transportation; the Metra Electric Line departing from Millennium Park Station (Michigan Ave. and Randolph St.) services the 59th Street (University of Chicago) Station, a quick walk from Experimental Station. The CTA bus #6 Jackson Park Express also runs from The Loop (via State St.) to Hyde Park.

The all-you-can eat buffet is a reasonable $20, payable at the door. See your old friends, make new friends, catch the latest in independent perspectives, and wish SRRT another 40 years of happy activism!

For more information, contact Lyn Miller-Lachmann (; 518-729-3976)

News & Tidbits

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

The International ACM Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems (MEDES 2009) is accepting paper submissions. Among the topics covered are Security & Privacy, Open Source, and Digital Libraries. Here for more info about the requirements. Hurry! Papers are due by June 15.

Rutgers University’s legal clinic is in the throes of a legal debate concerning New Jersey’s open-records law. The debate, sparked by a developers demand for disclosure of client information, brings to light questions of transparency, privacy, and the potential diminished legal experience for both clients and student workers.

The reauthorized Higher Education Act requires accountability for the processes by which online students’ identities are confirmed. Educators had feared the language of the recently reworked act would require costly investments in technology that would verify that students were indeed taking their own tests. For the time being, the proposed regulations do not require anything further than secure log-in and password, an official from the U.S. Education Department said.

Google commits to launching ebook program by the end of 2009.

Opportunity Online provided a forum for discussion regarding the nation’s spotty broadband and how this affects access to information

Inaccessibility to details of the inner workings of certain universities’ college sports programs has prompted former U.S. Senator James L. Buckley calls for a revamping of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The call is in large part influenced by these programs liberal interpretation of FERPA, which according to The Columbus Dispatch, allows for the extension of privacy “to athletes who have gambled, accepted payoffs, cheated, cashed in on their notoriety, and even sexually abused others.  It is extended to coaches who have broken recruiting rules or committed academic fraud at a time when the average salary for a head football coach is more than $1 million a year […]”

– compiled by X. Avalos

IFC at ACRL Seattle

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Welcome back from Seattle, everyone! I hope you all had a great conference. I also hope you were able to catch the Intellectual Freedom committee’s presence at the ACRL member table. We provided fliers and posters outlining how librarians protect Intellectual Freedom in academic libraries. They were designed by immediate past co-chair Suzan Parker, and are designed to be shared and posted.  You can download them here and here if you missed them in Seattle.

— X. Avalos