Tag Archives: ethics

#ReadWithPride

We were, like many librarians, concerned by the decision to cancel Simon James Green’s visit to John Fisher School. As we are eager to support the striking school staff, as well as LGBTQ staff and pupils in all schools, we feel it is time for librarians to set aside the stereotypical ‘shhh’ and make some noise!

To that end, we’d like to set up a social media buzz around LGBTQ young adult reading.

For Pride Month (June), we are creating a social media relay using the hashtag #ReadWithPride. Each school or library would post a photograph of a member of staff reading an LGBTQ young adult novel (we will coordinate to ensure a variety of titles), then ‘tag’ the next school so that a post goes out every working day in June.

Ideally, those depicted in the photograph would include a range of roles to show wider-spread engagement with LGBTQ fiction, some Heads, sport staff, or even school Pride Societies (GDPR permitting!) in order to really underline the institutional support, and that this is important for everyone. But of course, we’d love to feature librarians, too! We are also asking high profile LGBT authors to join in.

If you’d like to be involved in the relay, please fill out this form by 5pm on Monday 16 May:

And if you’d rather not be part of the formal relay but would like to support the project, please use the hashtag #ReadWithPride while posting Pride Month book recommendations and/or messages of support, ‘like’ or share the relay posts, etc. Some may choose to make explicit reference to recent events or use the #IStandWithSimon hashtag. Given that some schools may prefer not to take a formal stance, or the potential for doxing or trolling on social media, we have not included this but left it down to the individual. Please feel free to tweak the message as you wish.

We will be back in touch with the relay plan w/c 22/5. If you have any questions, please email Kate O’Connor at oconnork@dulwich.org.uk.

From Helen, Kate, Alice and Katie.

Censorship and Intellectual Freedom in School Libraries

Interim Joint Position Statement

May 2022

This statement has been produced jointly by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the CILIP School Libraries Group (CILIP SLG) and the School Library Association (SLA). It is intended to provide clear guidance for school librarians, school leadership and Governors when considering issues relating to intellectual freedom and censorship.

As leadership organisations for School Libraries, we believe that:

i) Intellectual freedom – the freedom to read, to learn, to question and to access information – is central to a functioning democracy.

ii) It is a core role of libraries, librarians and other library staff to promote intellectual freedom on behalf of their users, to empower users to enact their information rights and to oppose censorship in all its forms – both tacit and explicit.

iii) School librarians and library staff are responsible for promoting and preserving intellectual freedom by working with school leadership and teaching colleagues to support children and young people in their development as informed and responsible citizens.

We affirm the principles set out in the AASL School Library Bill of Rights. Based on this, we assert that it is the responsibility of the school librarian or library staff to:

iv) Provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of individual learners;

v) Provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards;

vi) Provide a range of information resources which will enable pupils to make informed judgments in their daily life;

vii) Provide materials that illustrate and illuminate different views on controversial issues so that learners may develop under guidance the practice of critical reading and thinking;

viii) Provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups in our society and their contribution to our national heritage and identity;

ix) Place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library;

x) Actively oppose censorship for any purpose other than material that is proscribed by law, which risks the incitement of illegal acts or which constitutes ‘hate speech’ as defined by the Public Order Act 1986, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.

We recognise the significant challenges faced by school librarians in embedding these beliefs into their practice and will be working to provide further support in the coming months.

Jointly signed by Nick Poole, Caroline Roche and Alison Tarrant

Find out more about CILIP’s project to develop a new policy and supporting guidance on intellectual freedom for librarians, library workers and information professionals in all sectors.