Friday, October 26, 2012

Intellectual Freedom Beyond Banned Books

At our last FLIF meeting, we talked about how intellectual freedom is about more than just the freedom to read and banned books. Intellectual freedom issues can affect us as students as well as the broader academic community. One such issue has been raised in a PhD comics video entitled Open Access Explained!. As the video explains, open access has come about as a result of digitization and journal price increases. With open access, the public is free to read and free to re-use scholarly research.

The video was made in partnership with the Right to Research Coalition (R2RC). The R2RC has a number of helpful ideas in how we can promote the use of open access as individuals, as student organizations, and as librarians. The section on Why Open Access? explains how traditional publishing practices and open access impact students, researchers, individuals in developing countries, and many other groups in addition the general public. Open access in academia is just one example of how issues of intellectual freedom can extend beyond the traditional notions of censorship and banned books.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Recap of the Homeless Connect Event

A big thank you to everyone who was able to come out and help us on Sunday with the first Homeless Connect event of the year! We handed out over 20 boxes worth of books to at-risk and homeless individuals. A CBC news article has reported that approximately 1800 individuals attended the event alongside over 400 volunteers. This is an important event for FLIF and for the city of Edmonton - your help in making this possible is greatly appreciated!

If you were not able to make it out to the fall Homeless Connect, you may want to consider joining us at the spring event. The date is to be determined, but should be in either April or May.

Thanks again to the great volunteers who took the time on Sunday to help out the at-risk and homeless community in Edmonton!

See more photos of the event after the jump!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Reminder: Homeless Connect is this weekend

Just a quick reminder that the fall Homeless Connect event will be taking place on Sunday October 21 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Thanks in advance to everyone who will be volunteering at the FLIF table this weekend. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Keep an eye on this blog for pictures and details of FLIF’s involvement at Homeless Connect.

We also hope to see you at the next FLIF meeting to be held on Tuesday October 23 at noon in Henderson Hall.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Open Access Publishing

Open Access Logo

International Open Access Week for this year is October 22 to 28, 2012. Open access allows members of the public to freely access scholarly research. The University of Alberta Libraries has created a listing of the events it will be hosting for Open Access Week.
  • Monday October 22
    • World Bank and SPARC Announce Open Access Week 2012 - Liveblog and Webcast
  • Wednesday October 24
    • Creating your researcher page in ERA and archiving your poster (ERA (Education and Research Archive) is an open access digital repository which allows members of the University of Alberta community to deposit research material such as articles, book chapters, posters, etc.)
    • An Introduction to BioMed Central, SpringerOpen, and Chemistry Central
  • Thursday October 25
    • Open Access 101 and Introduction to Open Access Publishing
See the libraries website for more information on these events and on open access publishing in general. 

The Open Access Week website has created a PDF of things that we as librarians can do to promote open access. One of the suggestions provided is to encourage the academic community to make use of open access institutional repositories such as ERA.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Banned Books: Comic Books and Graphic Novels

With Banned Books Week drawing to a close, we are highlighting comic books and graphic novels. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) has a list of comic books and graphic novels which have been challenged or banned over the years. Some of the materials included in this list are Amazing Spider-Man: Revelations, Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, In the Night Kitchen, and Watchmen, among many others. For the location and reason of these challenges, as well as to learn the outcome, see the original CBLDF post.

Author George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones, Wild Cards) has spoken out in support of Banned Books Week. His message can be read in a post on the CBLDF website.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Banned Books Week

Banned Books
Reprinted by permission of the American Library Association.

The American Library Association (ALA) is celebrating Banned Books Week from September 30 to October 6, 2012. Canadians typically promote the discussion of censorship issues during Freedom to Read Week in February, but Banned Books Week provides another venue to learn specifically about book challenges and book bannings. According to the ALA FAQ about banned and challenged books, "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.  A banning is the removal of those materials."

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Banned Book Week, the ALA has created an interactive timeline which highlights a banned or challenged book for every year in the past 30 years. The title of the book for each year is provided along with a brief synopsis of where the book was challenged or banned and why. The ALA also maintains a list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books for each year.