The library, with a partially respectful nod to the SC’s recent partial protection of Habeas Corpus, might be the last functional democratic institution around. Serves the demos, check. Equality, check. Transparency, check. Meritocratic, check. You get the point. But, check this. Librarians subvert, like founding fathers but different imperials and less with the slavery and Caucasian patriarchy. They actually care about information and an informed, civil society, that is, news. I mean real news: the stuff that “they” don’t want you to know, and not the standard gossip columns, celeb reviews, and adverts that are sold between commercials at 6, 10 and now at 11 as well. News about the restriction of news just doesn’t seem to make it on the telly so much. Back to the librarians. The American Library Association has a commando called the Intellectual Freedom Committee. Unlike most committees, this one doesn’t suck. Instead, it puts out a Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom–a real news source. You just probably never heard of it because it is a real news source and thus non-profitable and sometimes embarrassing to the point of being anti-profitable and thus democratic. This library has this title in current periodicals @ Z1.N7400 or for you Law folks out there, click here to get started. This is just one little tidbit of the system busting stuff that lives in the Library. Don’t tell anyone, because if the word gets out, the rules might change and information might not flow anymore…say in something called the Patriot Act…
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I was so inspired by your post that I looked up the May issue of the Newsletter (which was free online at https://members.ala.org/nif/) and especially enjoyed the Jefferson Muzzle awards. Thank you again for reminding us why we are really here!
There’s a new article on “Libel Tourism,” Librarians and the First Amendment that I’d recommend reading: http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/06/3539n.htm. The article also mentions “a panel on the use of foreign libel laws against American authors and journalists at the upcoming conference of the American Library Association in Anaheim, Calif., next week,” so conference attendees may be interested in trying to sit in on that!