It's not just the graphic novel Gender Queer that is under assault in public libraries, schools libraries, or even bookstores, plenty of books and graphic novels are being targeted by groups, for having LGBTQ and racial content, often with an eye to try and engender suspicion, hate and outrage in order to get elected. Well, the Library Journal is running an online course on Tuesday, the 6th of December to deal with just that.
The last few years have seen a drastic uptick in book bans and curriculum challenges. As a librarian, teacher, administrator, or trustee, it can be difficult to know your options for managing these challenges and advocating for intellectual freedom and diverse educational materials. This crash course will focus on proactive preparation to ensure you are set up for success. Live sessions will be available on-demand. In this 2.5-hour online crash course, you will learn tangible ways to handle censorship, including tips for finding allies and building coalitions, tactics for school board meetings, and strategies to ensure your library policies are up to date and will appropriately defend intellectual freedom. We'll discuss best practices for engaging and educating stakeholders in your organization to ensure everyone is equipped with appropriate responses and prepared when challenges arise. When you sign up early, you'll have immediate access to our Early Access On Demand Resources—a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors along with rich, supporting materials in the form of readings, activities, and videos—to explore at your own pace.
The modules don't have named speakers yet but will entail the following;
- Proactive Resistance: Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
Whether you're preparing for challenges or you're already dealing with them, this session will give you the practical tools you need to manage censorship. You will learn innovative policy ideas to reduce and resist censorship in your area, as well as strategies for auditing your current practices to ensure they will adequately defend intellectual freedom in your area. You will leave this session with new ideas for streamlined procedures and protocols that you can establish in your library to help you resist book bans and defend the right to read.
- Stronger Together: Building Community, Coalitions, and Allies
Defending intellectual freedom can't be the job of just one person. This session will teach you how to find allies inside and outside of your library or school, build coalitions, and work as a community to combat censorship challenges. You will leave with shared resources and tools for how to connect with others to drive change in your community.
- Apply Your Learning: Live, Interactive, Expert-Led Working Session
This live working session will give you an immediate opportunity to apply the skills you've learned in the previous sessions. You will be put into small, peer groups and given relevant assignments and activities to work through together. Expert facilitators will also be available for live Q&A and feedback.
- Informational Session about LJ/SLJ Professional Development
Interested in what's next or how to go even deeper? Attend this session to hear more about our spring courses, including our new 3-week course, Proactive Policy: Preparing to Defend Libraries in an Age of Misinformation, which will expand what you learned here. Stick around to ask questions about our full roster of courses, gain transparency into our process, and give your feedback about what you'd like us to do next.
Those who attend the course are expected to be able to:
- Advocate for your programs, curricula, collections, and services
- Conduct a policy audit and ensure your protections are up to date and comprehensive
- Make a plan to find allies and build coalitions to support you
- Access resources and communities dealing with similar challenges
- Develop and refer to talking points and best practices for speaking at school board meetings and connecting with stakeholders and community members
The course is recommended for "any librarian or educator who needs support preparing for or dealing with current book bans and curriculum challenges. Whether you're a frontline staff member or teacher, or a director or school administrator, this course will include proactive information that will give you tactical tools to defend intellectual freedom." Registration is available now.