Category Archives: Intellectual freedom

ALA Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week
September 29–October 6, 2007
Free People Read Freely ®


Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met. As the Intellectual Freedom Manual (ALA, 7th edition) states:

“Intellectual freedom can exist only where two essential conditions are met: first, that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate; and second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of the work, and the viewpoints of both the author and receiver of information. Freedom to express oneself through a chosen mode of communication, including the Internet, becomes virtually meaningless if access to that information is not protected. Intellectual freedom implies a circle, and that circle is broken if either freedom of expression or access to ideas is stifled.”

Why is that this celebration of “the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular” is not observed nor local version adapted for our national association to celebrate? Is it because of our cultural differences to our American colleagues?

How do we celebrate our own BBW? For a moment, lets ponder why our younger colleagues seldom bother to contradict nor express (at least publicly) contrary opinion to superior/head of association or committee/elder colleagues in the profession?

Those few who dare are either labeled as unprofessional, impatient, cannot “wait for their time to shine”, arrogant or simply a “trouble-maker” and not a team player. When will be the day when our beloved association/profession can handle diversity of opinion of individual members and respect them for that? Is it doable?

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