West Bend Public Library Wins Wisconsin ProQuest Intellectual Freedom Award

In the wake of the ongoing controversy over select Young Adult books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library, the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of the Wisconsin Library Association has named Director Michael Tyree and Young Adult Librarian Kristin Pekoll,…

Thoughts on Privacy and the Google Book Settlement

I shared my thoughts on privacy and the Google Book Settlement at the “Google Books Settlement and the Future of Information Access” conference organized by the UC-Berkeley School of Information. My remarks focused on my desire to trust Google when they say they're "thinking hard" about these issues and promise to "protect readers' privacy rights", while noting their track record is reason enough to cause us some pause, which is why we're pushing so hard as advocates on these vital concerns.

Will Google Use “Editorial Discretion” to Exclude Books from Book Search?

[Note: please be sure to read the comments with responses from Google's Alexander Macgillivray] Joris van Hoboken recently brought this section of the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement to my attention: Section 3.7(e) Google’s Exclusion of Books Google may, at…

Amazon Removes Books from Kindle, Exposing the True Concern: They’re Watching, They’re in Control

Amazon has remotely removed copies of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm from user’s Kindles while crediting their accounts, indicating that the books were improperly added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have the rights to them. More than just an eBook reader, the Kindle represents the latest cog in Amazon's large-scale infrastructure of intellectual surveillance.

West Bend Library Controversy Continues to Escalate

The West Bend library controversy continues to escalate....with calls for book burning and growing national exposure (and, unfortunately, ridicule). Here's the (abridged) history and escalation: [Updated on 6/19/09 to include ABC News coverage, and 7/22/09 to include CNN] 02/15/2009: Ginny…

West Bend Library Board Rejects Restrictions

The West Bend Community Memorial Library board held a public meeting this evening to consider the request from the "West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries" that the library remove books they consider to be "obscene" or "child pornography" from a…

Update on West Bend Library Controversy: Board Members Removed, ALA and Free Speech Groups Object

The controversy over the status of various GLBTQ-themed books (and now, apparently, any "sexually explicit" books) in the young adult section at the West Bend Library has taken a turn for the worse. The city's common council voted against reappointing…

UW-M School of Information Studies Statement of Support for the West Bend Library

In recent weeks, two citizens of West Bend, Wisconsin have petitioned the West Bend Community Memorial Library to remove gay-themed books from a section designated “Young Adults,” arguing the books should be reclassified and placed in a restricted area requiring…

Banned Book Week is Coming…Even in Wasilla

As Banned Books Week near (September 27-October 4), Nancy Kranich, past president of the American Library Association, reminds us of the many attempts to restrict our right to read, including an example from Wasilla, Alaska: This year's banned book focal…