This text is taken from the PDF found at: http://idaholibraries.org/intellectual-freedom-committee-newsletter/ Please check out the PDF to see the original formatting and to access all of the links. (Well, actually, now the links have been added below too)
This is the first newsletter from your ILA Intellectual Freedom Committee for 2017. You will receive a quarterly newsletter from us that will summarize what is going on in the world of intellectual freedom. Anything to do with Idaho will get priority, but we want you to stay informed with what is going on throughout the country too!
If you have any comments or questions, please email Shalini Ramachandran at email@example.com. And remember, we want to know what is going on in your library! Shoot us an email and let us know about any book challenges, concerns or activities in your area. All communication is confidential; we will consult you before talking to anyone else. Challenges can also be reported to the ALA national office, using this form.
Moeller, Katy. 2017. “5,000 attend Boise’s Women’s March.” The Idaho Statesman. Accessed January 25, 2017. http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/community/boise/article127984764.html.
Intellectual freedom and first amendment rights to expression and peaceful protest are important cornerstones of a democratic society. On Saturday, January 21, millions came together to exercise those rights in “Sister Marches.”
Marchers gathered around the world to represent issues at stake vis a vis the plans set forth by the new administration. Issues include a variety of concerns over human and civil rights, along with environment and freedom of information. Official marches were organized throughout the state of Idaho—in Boise, Driggs, Idaho Falls, Ketchum, Moscow, Pocatello, Sandpoint, and Stanley—with Boise’s march drawing a crowd of 5,000. Boise’s March was even mentioned in a variety of national news sources, including the Washington Post and New York Times.
According to the Women’s March on Washington website, a total of 673 marches took place around the world (in all 50 states, 80 countries, and all 7 continents), and the total number of demonstrators is estimated to be near 5 million (womensmarch.com/sisters).
Intellectual freedom empowers citizens to share information and to gather to participate in the formation of social and civil policies, without restriction or impediment. The Women’s Marches that took place around the country and world exemplify the integral place free speech and intellectual freedom occupies in the democratic process.
- On January 30th, ALA President, Julie Todaro, released a statement responding to recent actions by the new administration and specifically addressing issues regarding access to information, discrimination and intellectual freedom. The statement began thus: “We are shocked and dismayed by recent executive orders and other actions by the new administration, which stand in stark contrast to the core values of the American Library Association (ALA). Our core values include access to information; confidentiality/privacy; democracy; equity, diversity and inclusion; intellectual freedom; and social responsibility.” The full text of the press release can be viewed here.
- On January 25th, ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom put out a strongly worded press release condemning government censorship of national agencies amid reports that the new administration had ordered a blackout on the EPA and other governmental agencies speaking to the public or the press. The statement started by saying, “The American Library Association (ALA) has as one of its officially stated goals that it is the leading advocate for the public’s right to a free and open information society (Policy A.1.3). ALA opposes any use of governmental power to suppress the free and open exchange of knowledge and information (Policy B.8.5.1). Indeed, the principle of intellectual freedom – unfettered access to knowledge – is a core belief of our profession, as captured in the Library Bill of Rights.” Read the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s complete statement here and share your reaction on the ILA Facebook page!
- The problem with student privacy, and how to protect it | School Library Journal.| Students should have two expectations of privacy, says Helen Adams, author of Protecting Intellectual Freedom and Privacy in Your School Library (ABC-CLIO, 2013). They should be able to come in and use the library’s resources and have no one looking over their shoulder. Whatever information they seek on that topic should remain private.
- University of Pennsylvania librarians lead effort to save climate data from erasure. More than 250 people gathered at the University of Pennsylvania on Jan 13-14 for Data Rescue Philly, a grassroots effort to save environmental and climate change data that scientists fear could disappear because of the new administration’s ambivalence toward the scientific consensus on climate change. Bethany Wiggin, director of the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities (PPEH), said that these concerns prompted PPEH and Penn Libraries to launch DataRefuge, which approaches the problem like a libraries project, placing “multiple copies [of data] in multiple places”.
- ‘Joyful’ March for Life groups rally in D.C., despite some political differences.’ Christian Science Monitor. The article states, “Thousands of people gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on January 27th for the 44th March for Life, with many saying they feel renewed hope for the pro-life movement. But the post-election political climate could also change up traditional alliances.” The march, another expression of freedom of speech in the country’s capital, came a week after the Presidential Inauguration.
- Are police searching inauguration protesters’ phones? | Citylab. A lawyer for several protesters arrested in inauguration protests on Friday claims that police appear to be mining information from mobile phones taken after they were detained raising concerns about privacy violations.
By Hailey Roberts, Meridian Library District
Wilson, Paula. 2017. “Librarian Takes It Off in the Stacks; Goes Viral.” Public Libraries Online. Accessed January 20, 2017. http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2017/01/librarian-takes-it-off-in-the-stacks-goes-viral/.
Fake news is a current buzzword, but a long-standing issue in journalism and public information. Read Paula Wilson’s “Librarian Takes It Off in the Stacks; Goes Viral” for an assessment of why “fake news” is (and has been) a problem, and what librarians can do to empower the public to filter through it.
Wilson reminds us to be wary of sensationalized statements and headlines, drawing a comparison between fake news and celebrity tabloids—both constructed to tickle the brain and make you just curious enough to read on. Oh, and turn a profit.
Our connected culture allows us to share information incredibly quickly. This is a great benefit. But, there are limits to the system, and the proliferation of information is often based on algorithms and advertising. If you don’t come across a piece of “news” because it was shared directly with you, you’ll probably run into it somewhere if you happen to be interested in any of the content’s subject matter.
Simply put: you can’t trust every article you encounter, even if it looks legitimate.
Wilson cites an article published by the BBC in December which profiles a group of teens in Macedonia who became rich by paying Facebook to promote their (plagiarized) fake news articles about the recent U.S. presidential election, which may or may not have swayed U.S. voter behavior.
The BBC article doesn’t make any estimates of how many people these fake articles reached, but the young writers earned substantial sums from advertising revenue after publishing. Wilson also refers us to a recently published study by the Stanford History Education Group which explores college students’ civic online reasoning skills, and claims that many experience difficulty in distinguishing credible sources from less savory ones among the flood of information.
Read “Librarian Takes It Off in the Stacks; Goes Viral” and join the conversation about what librarians can do to empower their communities to spot the red flags of fake news.
NAT HENTOFF, A PERSPECTIVE
By Bette Ammon, Director, Coeur d’Alene Public Library
When I was a young adult librarian at the Pocatello Public Library (now Marshall Public Library) in the mid-1980s, “The Day They Came to Arrest the Book” by Nat Hentoff was fairly new. That was my first exposure to Hentoff. His depiction of the attempted censorship of Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in a high school helped to form my ongoing deep belief in intellectual freedom, particularly in libraries.
Hentoff died this past January at the age of ninety-one. Most known for outspoken commentary in many arenas of speech and information, as well as his background in jazz, his “Arrest” novel struck a chord with me over 30 years ago. In the book, the characters come to understand both the responsibilities of the freedom to read and how critical it is to exercise that freedom.
I realize now that my opinions and staunch adherence to reading freedoms comes from authors like Hentoff, my first public library boss (children’s librarian Betty Holbrook), and my writing partner, Gale Sherman. Gale and I co-taught children’s literature for a time at Idaho State University and were proud and excited to expose our students to the variety and breadth of books for children and young adults. All these experiences verified the critical importance of allowing all readers of all ages the opportunity to read all sorts of materials.
One of my favorite personal stories is that of my then three-year-old daughter insisting to me that the character Mickey in Maurice Sendak’s “In the Night Kitchen” was a boy. When I asked how she knew, her reply: “Because he has that pot on his head.” For those who may not have looked at Sendak’s classic lately, this picture book comes under fire regularly because several of the illustrations feature a mischievous and nude little boy who does indeed sometimes sport a pot on his head.
It’s as important now as it ever was to recognize the importance of unfettered access to all sorts of books and information. We always speak about the existence of libraries in support of a democratic and informed citizenry and that is particularly critical now. People need to read and speak and read some more in order to understand and participate. I like reflecting back on reading Hentoff’s book and the subsequent development of my unshakeable conviction to promote the right, responsibility, and privilege to read freely.
Do you have a story that you want us to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Burley Public Library Foundation received an Email from the Smith’s Community Rewards program saying: “Your supporters (8 households) who shopped at Smith’s between 10-1-2016 and 12-30-2016(Cycle 3, Qtr 4) have contributed to your $47.09 total donation. Your organization will be receiving a Kroger check in this amount within 30 days from 1-11-2017.”
On behalf of the Burley Public Library Foundation we would like to THANK those 8 households who have married their Smith’s frequent shopper card to our charity. Thank you!
For those of you who would like to have Smith’s contribute to the Foundation on your behalf, you just need to create a digital account with them at their website. Here is the link explains how to quickly and easily create a digital account, and then how to choose the organization you wish to have Smith’s donate to on your behalf: https://www.smithsfoodanddrug.com/topic/community-rewards-5
Our Non-Profit Organization or NPO number with Smith’s is: 25869 You will need to load that number in at the end of the process to indicate which organization you are choosing to support.
- Smith now has a mobile app that you can register through.
- They say you need to renew your connection to the charity of your choice annually but we have found that the selected organization does seem to be sticky beyond one year. Please let us know if you find this not to be the case.
Thanks for http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ for the image of the family
Perhaps you didn’t know that the Burley Public Library Foundation (BPLF) is a participating Smith’s Community Rewards Organization. This means that every time you shop at Smith’s using your points/rewards card or alternate ID (typically phone number) that Smith’s will make a donation to the BPLF. This does not effect the savings or rewards YOU earn on your purchases!
Years ago Smith’s asked customers to fill out a paper form in their store, indicating which organization you would like to contribute to in your local community. They have now moved the process exclusively online. It still involves filling out a form, but this time it is on their website, rather than on paper.
In order to have Smith’s start giving on your behalf to the Burley Public Library Foundation, you will need to create a digital account with them at their website. Here is the link explains how to quickly and easily create a digital account, and then how to choose the organization you wish to have Smith’s donate to on your behalf: https://www.smithsfoodanddrug.com/topic/community-rewards-5
Our Non-Profit Organization or NPO number with Smith’s is: 25869
You will need to load that number in at the end of the process to indicate which organization you are choosing to support.
Thanks for supporting the Burley Public Library Foundation!
Alfred and Bee Thaxton’s hearts were always invested in both the community and the people of the Mini-Cassia area. Al and Bee were the classic story of the “boy meets and marries the girl next door.” Alfred Thaxton was the eighth child born to Stephen W. Thaxton and Signora Hansen Thaxton of Heyburn Idaho. Bertha Belle “Bee” Thaxton was the fourth child of seven born to Lee Ellis Higley and Raymonde Marie Wiart Higley, also of Heyburn. Alfred was raised on the farm across the street from Bee’s family’s cattle operation. They both learned early the importance of hard work, responsibility, authenticity and integrity– characteristics they both displayed throughout their lives.
Alfred and Bee were married on July 22, 1942, just after Alfred had enlisted and was about to leave for the war. Alfred served his country as a co-pilot of a B17 better known as, “The Flying Fortress” in World War II. He was in the 569th squadron, division of the 390th Bomb Group. Al flew 25 bombing missions over Germany and was stationed in England. At the end of the war he also flew several missions dropping food and supplies to the starving Dutch in Holland and brought POW’s from Germany to their homes in France.
Of his experience in World War II Al said: “We weren’t there for glory but to do a job. We were proud of the unit we were in. The main goal was to get the job done, to fill the specific assignment and get out of there. We were not children fired with a vision; we were merely young men accepting our times. Some of us fancied the role we played. Others did not. In any case we did not go off into the sky shouting “hosannas.” Alfred remained in the USAF reserves and retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1972.
While Alfred was away at war their first child was born and named after Al, even though she was a girl: Patricia Al Thaxton! When Al returned from the war, Bee and Al moved the small, two room house Bee had been living in on her parent’s farm, to a lot in Heyburn and added on a couple rooms. In 1946 Bee and Al purchased an existing home on Yale Avenue and moved to Burley. There they had two more children, both boys, Gerald Burt and Stephen Craig. Al and Bee remained residents of 1619 Yale Avenue the rest of their lives.
Alfred bought out his brother in law’s painting contracting business in 1949. His “Thaxton Painting Company” employed a crew of twelve or so men and could be seen painting or sand- blasting, the Union Feed Store, the Burley Theater, Cassia National Bank and many, many, homes and buildings in the area.
In 1961 Al and Bee opened “Thaxton’s Painting and Interiors” in the then new Overland Shopping Center. There they continued the contracting business, but also offered a full line of carpets, draperies, wallpaper and other accessories for home decorating , as well as expert advice in decorating. Although neither had formal training as interior decorators, both possessed great talent, skill, and taste in home décor. They were forced to sell the business in 1971, when Al had to undergo open heart surgery. After his recovery, Al worked in sales for a couple other businesses in Burley, and eventually spent his semi-retired years wallpapering homes. Some jobs were contracted through “Inspirations,” a local decorating store, and some independently. Eventually, health issued forced him to retire from this line of work. However, he found less demanding work and service. Al always said he would rather die working than remain idle!
Alfred and Bee were both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and donated numerous hours of service in the church. Bee’s time was spent mostly with the youth, and Al’s time was spent in the church music programs and with church welfare assignments.
Alfred will be best remembered for his musical contributions to the community. He possessed a rich tenor voice and sang at hundreds of funerals and weddings in the area. He also played the drums in several different bands over the years, including the Burley Elks “Little German Band,” who performed at several conventions around the country including Sun Valley and Dallas, Texas. He was accomplished on the violin, his favorite instrument, although he did not perform publicly in this capacity. Al began his singing career when young. He received a small scholarship to both Idaho State University and the University of Idaho. While attending these universities he performed in many choirs and operas. Over the years, Al could also be heard in the Elijah Concert, the Messiah Concert, the Singing K’s, and the Valley Singers.
Both Al and Bee loved the arts. Al had his music and Bee did a little painting and sculpturing. They both recognized outstanding talent and attended symphonies, ballets, operas, plays, and other performances of various kinds. As a result, they gave a great deal of time and service to establishing and supporting the Community Concert Association. Al was the vice president for several years and Bee the secretary. Both served in the organization up until their declining years and loved doing so. They also both served with the Mini Cassia Council of the Arts, of which Al was the executive director at one time. Al and Bee were always a classy, cultured couple who wanted to bring a touch of culture and the talents they loved to all people in the community.
Al was a member of the Burley Lions Club, and Bee the Lady Lions. Both spent untold hours of community service in these organizations and had a lot of fun doing so. Al was President, Zone Chairman of District 39W and Deputy District Governor. He was rewarded for his many years of service when he was honored by the Lions in receiving the distinguished and coveted “Melvin Jones Fellow Award, For Dedicated Humanitarian Services.” The Lions also established an “Al Thaxton Music Scholarship Fund,” in his honor. This fund has helped several aspiring musicians in recent years.
Both Bee and Al were avid readers. Al enjoyed historical novels, both fiction and non-fiction. He also read and studied deep religious writings. Bee enjoyed current bestselling books and biographies. She was a long time member of the Cameo Literary Club, as well as being a member of Friends of the Library. She enjoyed giving book reviews when it was her turn, especially books about famous and important persons. At one time Al and Bee combined their interests and talents by making a presentation of the life and music of George Gershwin. Bee gave a review of Robert Rushmore’s book, George Gershwin: The Champion Who Brought Jazz to the Concert Hall and Great Music to Broadway. Her review was interspersed with Alfred singing many of Gershwin’s most memorable songs. Their performance was so well received that they presented it at several clubs and organizations in the area.
For many years, Bee was an avid and accomplished golfer. She belonged to Burley Ladies Amateur Golf Association and won several awards including one in 1957 for “2nd Flight Best Ball Tournament.” Bee also planned and implemented many, Class of ’39 reunions for Heyburn High School, up to and including the 5oth Year Reunion. Bee loved decorating her home, keeping her yard beautiful and full of flowers, entertaining with the “dinner club” and “bridge club”– as well as with family and friends. She was an excellent cook and presented an elegant table. Bee’s years of service to family and community all speak highly of her– but her greatest accolades should come from the support and love with which she stood behind Alfred’s many and varied contributions to the community.
Alfred Thaxton continued to serve the community of Burley up until his last year of good health. He was elected to the City Council in 1995, receiving the most votes. He served as city councilman for almost two full terms. He was instrumental in Burley’s achievement of Tree City USA status. In 2002, the city of Burley planted a grove of trees in his honor on Arbor Day in the Kiwanis Park. Mayor Doug Manning said of Alfred: “He was a progressive empathetic advocate for the business people of the community. He was always mindful of the local business owners and wanted the city departments to divide their business among the local merchants.” Manning also said: “Al, coming from a generation of people who were conservative and not inclined to move forward aggressively, was an advocate for the city and wanted to provide for the future generations.”
In keeping with his love of country and respect for those who served it, Al spent his last four years as the Mini-Cassia Veterans Service Officer, a job he loved doing. He said of his position there: “My main function is just to serve the veterans.” But, his administrator commented in one interview with the local paper, saying: “In the past five months (under Al’s supervision) we’ve seen more work from Mini-Cassia than we’ve seen in the past five years. We’re seeing more claims for widows and veterans who need assistance.” Al’s compassion and respect for all people served him well in this capacity.
Because of their love of Burley and the surrounding area, and because of their “hearts”, Alfred and Bee Thaxton have been exemplary contributors to life in the community. In being so, they sought no fame, fortune, nor glory. Indeed, they would be the first to say that what they did do was live lives of true fulfillment and love.
Christian Frederick Blauer and Rosetta Gerber Blauer in View
My Blauer Grandparents were Christian Frederick Blauer and Rosetta Gerber. On April 7, 1900, they moved their family to Lund, Idaho, from Ogden, Utah. It was here that Grandfather took up a quarter section of dry farm land. They increased their holding and did very well especially during and shortly after the World War I years. Grandfather filled a mission in his native land of Switzerland in 1926-28.
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