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On Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

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With Librarians Betsie Bush and Annie Coleman

Betsie Bush, left. Annie Coleman, right.

DOWNLOAD AND LISTEN TO BETSIE BUSH AND ANNIE COLEMAN MP3 HERE

As long as writers have been putting ideas into words, there have been people trying to keep those words from being heard. Whether it’s religion, politics, sex, or some other issue, the history of writing is full of books that have been banned–and those that people have tried to squelch. How do issues of censorship and intellectual freedom affect writers and publishers today? Join librarians Betsie Bush and Annie Coleman and host Paula B. as they explore the forbidden.

Betsie Bush has been working in libraries in many capacities for almost 20 years… including shelving and processing books as a teenager, circulation and book restoration as a graduate student, and professionally as a catalog and reference librarian. Currently she supports libraries across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as catalog librarian and trainer for the Superiorland Library Cooperative. In addition to providing library catalog maintenance and training to library staff in the region, she coordinates the Upper Peninsula Regional Digitization Center, a branch of the state’s online digital history collection. Betsie earned her Master of Science in Information (formerly Library and Information Science) from the University of Michigan in 1999.

Annie Coleman is a part-time library clerk and a part-time graduate student working towards her masters degree in library science. Annie works in a small public library in the suburbs of St. Louis and hopes to be able to call herself a certified librarian in about a year. When she is not working or doing homework, Annie volunteers for LibriVox.org, maintains her Web site at www.anniecoleman.com, and records a podcast of free audiobooks. Her first audiobook was Pride and Prejudice and she is now working on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In this lively discussion, Betsie and Annie hold forth on:

  • What intellectual freedom is
  • Why librarians are so passionate about intellectual freedom
  • Where the limits of intellectual freedom reside
  • What sorts of materials tend to be challenged by library users
  • What happens when someone wants a book removed from a library
  • How the issue of censorship affects authors and publishers
  • Which books have been banned over the years.

Interviewees: Betsie Bush and Annie Coleman
Host: Paula B.
Date: May 1, 2006
Running time: 49:27 minutes
File size: 42 megabytes
Rating: PG
Web sites:
The Upper Peninsula Regional Digitization Center
; Michigan Digital History Collection; Anniecoleman.com

 

DOWNLOAD AND LISTEN TO BETSIE BUSH AND ANNIE COLEMAN MP3 HERE