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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,...

Nominations Open for WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 in Awards
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Do you know of someone actively promoting intellectual freedom?  Someone who exemplifies the spirit of intellectual freedom?  If you do, you know someone that should be nominated for the WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award.Anyone who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Wisconsin is eligible.  Activities within the past five years are eligible for consideration. *A personal member of either WLA or WEMTA must submit the award nomination. Individuals and groups may nominate themselves for the award. This award is sponsored by: TeachingBooks.net and the Center for Information Policy Research and the School of Information Studies at UWM.Additional information on the award criteria and nomination process can be found at http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/ifrt/.  Nomination Deadline: January 15, 2011...

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...

ALA's Top Ten List: Most Challenged Books of 2009

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on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 in WLA Blog Archive
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CHICAGO –Lauren Myracle’s best-selling young adult novel series "TTYL," the first-ever novels written entirely in the style of instant messaging, tops the American Library Association’s (ALA) Top Ten list of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009.Two books are new to the list: Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer and “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult.Both Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and Robert Cormier’s “The Chocolate War” return after being dropped from the list in 2008.“Even though not every book will be right for every reader, the ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely are core American values,” said Barbara Jones, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Protecting one of our most fundamental rights – the freedom to read – means respecting each other’s differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read.”For nearly 20 years, the ALA Office for...

Read-In at West Bend Public Library

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on Sunday, May 17, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive
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The West Bend Public Library has been facing difficult times after local residents complained about gay-themed books in the young adult collection of the library, and the issue has grown.Most recently, Mayor Kristine Deiss' reappointment of four library board members was rejected, though they will continue to serve until the mayor can find others who will agree to serve on the library board.The complaint was originally lodged by Ginny Maziarka about gay-themed books in the library. The complaint was later broadened to include all "pornographic" materials.A group of supportive individuals are staging a Read-in on Friday, May 29, in support of the library, the displaced library board members, and "banned books" in general. They will walk from a local middle school to the library, where they will read banned books until 6:00 p.m. when the library closes.See previous posts on the West Bend situation:West Bend Library Gets Complaint about Gay Themed...