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Belleville Parents and Students Win WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award

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on Friday, March 11, 2011 in Libraries in the News
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For their staunch dedication to preserving First Amendment rights and for their well-reasoned defense for keeping Chris Crutcher’s Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes as part of the ninth-grade curriculum at Belleville High School, the parents and students of Belleville who supported retaining that book have been selected to receive the 2011 Intellectual Freedom Award given jointly by the Wisconsin Library Association & the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association. The WLA/WEMTA nomination review committee voted unanimously to give this year's award to the six parents and four students from Belleville who successfully overcame a censorship challenge at their local high school. Their campaign supported a well-reviewed book which had been part of a teacher’s curriculum for nine years. Steadfast advocacy on behalf of intellectual freedom for high school students is neither an easy nor a quick undertaking. It was, however, grass roots organizing at its best.The circumstances began in September 2010,...

Dr. Robert Smiley Receives 2010 WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award

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on Tuesday, September 07, 2010 in WLA News
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Robert Smiley, PhD, has been named the recipient of the 2010 WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award. The award (formerly the WLA SIRS/Proquest Intellectual Freedom Award) recognizes the contribution of an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Wisconsin. It is administered by the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable of the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA IFRT) and the Wisconsin Media and Technology Association Intellectual Freedom Special Interest Group (WEMTA IF-SIG). Sponsorship is provided by TeachingBooks.net and the Center for Information Policy Research at the UW-Milwaukee School of Information StudiesDr. Smiley, who recently became Director of Technology for the Waunakee Community School District, has been a powerful and effective advocate for unfiltered access to the internet for school district students and staff. As Director of Technology for the Stoughton Area School District, he responded to federal legislation demanding that schools and libraries receiving e-rate funding filter internet access by weighing the fiscal...