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Circulating Ideas - 3 November 2021

Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas
Circulating Ideas facilitates conversations with the innovative people and ideas inspiring libraries to grow and thrive in the 21st century. This newsletter dives deeper into those conversations.
Please let me know if you have suggestions for upcoming guests or for additions or changes to this newsletter. I’d love your feedback!
Keep circulating your ideas!

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Being a pragmatic optimist means understanding that while we don’t live in a perfect world, good work can still be accomplished and hope can triumph over despair. It’s recognizing that “two steps forward, one step back” is still forward movement. Sometimes compromise is necessary to make progress.
One place we cannot compromise, however, is when it comes to doing harm to people, whether actively or through neglect. That opinion can sometimes put me on the opposite side of the intellectual freedom argument from others in the profession, particularly those in ALA OIF. I respect that point of view, and it is ably advocated for in this new episode of the show by Shannon Oltmann. As a counterbalance, don’t just listen to me; check out many of the links below to other interviews I have done with librarians holding different views, like Alison Macrina (and some who agree, like Jamie LaRue).
We don’t have to look at the future in binary terms; we’re not inexorably moving toward a utopia or a dystopia. The world has always been a broken place, and it will forever be a broken place. That’s not pessimism; it’s accepting the world as it is. Real change cannot come until we stop looking through awe-colored glasses about our profession and do the work to make the world a better place. 
Live by our values. Fight for our values. 
Libraries are not neutral. 
Episode 211
CI211: Shannon M. Oltmann
CI211 Transcript
Practicing Intellectual Freedom in Libraries by Shannon M. Oltmann - Libraries Unlimited - ABC-CLIO
Office for Intellectual Freedom | ALA
Banned Books Week
Are Libraries Neutral?
When Speech Isn’t Free
Meeting Room Controversies
Meeting Rooms: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
ALA OIF Responds to Library Bill of Rights Meeting Room Interpretation update
Library Meeting Rooms for All
ALA Bill of Rights Amendment: What Happened? What Can We Do?
Yes, 'Hate Groups' Can Hold Meetings in Libraries, Too
Ethics of Library Meeting Rooms
City Librarian Statement on Upcoming Third-Party Room Rental Event - News Releases - Toronto Public Library
Meeting Rooms and Sacred Spaces Cause Schisms in Seattle
Recirculated
Intellectual freedom has been a common subject on the show. Here are just a few past guests who have talked about the subject:
203: Judi Moreillon
186: Stephen Krueger
117: Alison Macrina
91: Jamie LaRue – ALA OIF
85: Barbara Fister
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Making a podcast well takes lots of hardware and software! I’ve got some of my top picks to improve the show on my Amazon wish list! To improve my back while I sit at the computer for hours prepping, recording, and editing the podcast, this back pillow looks so comfy!
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Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas @circideas

Circulating Ideas facilitates conversations with the innovative people and ideas inspiring libraries to grow and thrive in the 21st century.

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