Panel Discussion, Listen Online: Preserving Intellectual Freedom in Public Libraries (Recorded at the Columbus Ohio Metropolitan Club)
The audio recording of the Columbus Metropolitan Club forum linked below was recorded on July 26, 2023.
From WCBE Radio:
- Patrick Losinski, CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Library
- Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director, CEO, Cleveland Public Library,
- Matthew Besser, Principal, Bolek Besser Glesius
- Michelle Francis, Executive Director, Ohio Library Council
- Host David E. Weaver, Executive Director, Ohioana Library Association
Public libraries have long been held up as pillars of free speech but have increasingly been caught in the crossfire of America’s ongoing culture wars. Initiatives to take controversial books off library shelves aren’t new to the U.S. or Ohio, but recent years have seen an “unprecedented” rise in the number of titles under fire, according to the American Library Association. Books with LGBTQ+ and racial justice themes, libraries – and even librarians themselves – have increasingly found themselves in the censorship crosshairs of activists. Elected officials in Texas and Missouri have even threatened to cut library funding to keep books deemed controversial out of patron hands. What happens when calls for censorship collide with libraries founded on the free communication of information? With an expert panel, we’ll explore the critical role libraries play in a free and open democracy and how libraries are working to preserve intellectual freedom in an uncertain era.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.