American Library Association Convention Highlights Internet Access, Censorship

By C, Delinda | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 1997 | Go to article overview

American Library Association Convention Highlights Internet Access, Censorship


C, Delinda, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


American Library Association Convention Highlights Internet Access, Censorship

The American Educational Trust, publisher of this magazine, was one of almost 800 exhibitors at the 1997 midwinter meeting of the American Library Association (ALA), held Feb. 16-18 in Washington, DC. The AET magazine and books display competed for the attention of 4,600 registered attendees in addition to more than 1,000 walk-in visitors. Every major publisher of books and periodicals had a booth, as did representatives from audiovisual firms, furniture suppliers, and computer equipment companies.

The AET display sought to link library packages of donated Middle East-related books with subscriptions to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in order to stretch the limited funds of the AET Library Endowment, which can barely scratch the surface of library book requests.

All libraries which submitted a $25 Washington Report subscription were offered the new special library package, which includes books with a list value of $150, including AET's own newest book, Seeing the Light: Personal Encounters with the Middle East and Islam, which is to be released in April. Libraries that already subscribe can request the book package at no additional charge when they renew their subscription. If a library is receiving a $20 donated subscription, for an additional $25 it, too, can obtain the $150 book package. As in the past, librarians who want the magazine but cannot afford the $25 were invited to leave their names and AET will seek a donor. The same offer made at the ALA convention also has been mailed to a large list of libraries in the U.S. and Canada.

Many of the panel discussions at the ALA conference focused on censorship of books in schools and libraries. In 1996, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) registered 664 challenges (complaints against books by authors ranging from Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger, and Judy Blume to R.L. Stine). For each challenge reported to OIF, there may be as many as four or five unreported complaints.

The majority of the challenges concerned books children chose to check out of their school libraries, not books in the mandatory school curriculum. The OIF educates librarians across the country on how to deal with censorship attempts in their communities.

The ALA is in the middle of another freedom of information fight. It is the lead plaintiff in litigation challenging a Nov. 1, 1996 New York statute that makes it a crime to disseminate materials that are "harmful to minors" through any computer communications network. Judith King, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, said the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have joined the ALA suit because the law is an unconstitutional, content-based restriction on free speech. A similar case will be heard by the Supreme Court this spring.

The discussions made clear the American Library Association's dedication to retaining the rights of all Americans to roam the Information Superhighway or read any books of their choice. At the same time, discussions raised the problems posed when someone chooses to put directions for building a pipe bomb on the Internet.

Compared to such conundrums, the problem posed by attempts at political censorship of the content of Middle East-related materials in American libraries seem simple to deal with. Nevertheless, it is ironic that in controversial Middle East matters some librarians are turning their backs on everything the ALA stands for. Either because of intimidation by some library patrons or in accordance with their own private agendas, some librarians are choosing what viewpoints to make available to their patrons, and what information to withhold concerning emotion-laden but also critically important Middle East matters.

Are there really librarians who regard themselves as self-appointed media censors and find pretexts to keep the Washington Report, or even-handed books about the Middle East, off the shelves of their libraries? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

American Library Association Convention Highlights Internet Access, Censorship
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.