Intellectual Freedom Fight in Round Rock

cover of book ttyl by Lauren Myracle

See the KVUE article on the challenge by some Round Rock parents to the book ttyl by Lauren Myracle. More interesting than the article are the comments that follow it.

Not a single year passed of the seven I spent as a high school librarian in Round Rock without someone in the district facing a book (or other resource) challenge by a parent or group of parents wanting particular titles removed and the remainder labeled with a rating of some kind. Usually, the challenges died in the process, which is explicit in the RRISD selection policy. When a challenge did reach a school board hearing of sorts, usually more parents showed up in support of intellectual freedom than for extended censorship. I hope that trend continues.

Stepping Up Brown Bag #3

Stepping Up: library leaders for the 21st century

Today, hosted the third in a series of brown bag management lectures sponsored by Stepping Up: Library Leaders for the 21st Century, a student-recruitment grant written and administrated by Dr. Lynn Westbrook, for whom I serve as graduate assistant in charge of communication for the grant. The grant currently funds six students in the masters program here at the iSchool, but funds exist for at least five more students. My position as GA has taught me much about recruiting students into a graduate program and about coordinating speaking events and meetings. What have I learned? The GRE alone is scary enough to keep potential students from applying for money to pay for graduate school. And, you can’t remind people too many times or in too many ways about an event.

Our guest today was Ron Pollock, Director of Career Services at the iSchool. Ron presented a one-hour overview of a longer workshop he offers on project management and problem solving. The ten folks who came with lunches in hand for the talk left pleased — and armed with a better understanding of and good resources for project planning and problem solving. Five lucky individuals left with new books on leadership, among themĀ Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner.

So far Stepping Up has hosted talks on leadership (by Dr. Tommy Darwin of UT), mentoring (by Dr. Janine Golden of Texas Woman’s University), and project management. The talks on mentoring and on project management were in response to requests from those attending earlier talks, so I have no idea whom we may host for what topic in the spring until I poll all the Stepping Up stakeholders: the students, their mentors, and our eight partner libraries.

ALA NGD 15NOV

National Gaming Day @your library, Nov. 15, 2008

Among the many reasons I love and support libraries? The fact that they are truly democratic spaces, where folks can congregate for serious community affairs … or just for fun.

I had one of the best weeks of my life during the last presidential election year by sponsoring my own celebration of grassroots politics at the high school library where I worked: Read about it in the Texas Library Journal.