Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Little History

"As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature...but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself...."

I slogged through Paradise Lost in high school, not fully appreciating that John Milton was a highly complex man living in tumultuous times. There was an excellent article in the New Yorker recently about his life and work, this being the 400th anniversary of his birth. As you know, free speech has a long history in western democratic culture, and the Founding Fathers, as proper gentlemen of the day, were solidly grounded in classical studies. Milton's Areopagitica is a cornerstone document in the development of the first amendment. Interestingly, although he titled it a speech, it was actually a widely distributed pamphlet, and never delivered orally before Parliament. Not light reading, by any means, but worth the time, the document was in part inspired by Milton's visit to the aging Galileo as well as by the ongoing upheavals in England between Catholicism and Protestantism.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good Article on Patron Behavior Policies

This article comes from the North Suburban Library System, north of Chicago, and has some good guidance for writing policies regarding patron behavior issues.

Diminutive Librarian Stands Tall

Thanks to Susan Hamada for this story from Library Link of the Day

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Douglas County, Colorado librarian responds to a challenge

Thanks to Jim Cooper and Suzanne Tronier for this article.


There is a bewildering amount of information concerning First Amendment issues and libraries, much of it in the murky realms of the law. The purpose of this site is to digest some of that information in a brief, accessible format. Some topics will be:
Patron Behavior
Speech in the workplace
Privacy issues
Challenges to library materials

Please email Merry White, IF Committee Chair, if you have a question or comment about this site, information on intellectual freedom of interest to Utah library employees, or if you would like to participate on the committee.