Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
Information Organization and Access
Libraries, Information, and Society
Reference and Information Services
In the classes I teach in our professional master’s program, I am primarily concerned that my students have a solid theoretical and practical foundation for whatever they might encounter in their professional lives. I structure my classes to reflect this philosophy by first emphasizing theory and then moving to practical application. This is exemplified in my class on intellectual freedom and censorship. The class begins with readings on the historical roots of intellectual freedom, including excerpts from Mill’s “On Liberty,” and ends with students preparing a portfolio of documents in response to a challenge scenario in various institutional settings. This sequence allows students to more clearly understand how theory informs professional practice.
I encourage my students to think critically about the institutions in which they will work. For example, they sometimes ask me what I think about various institutional policies and I always remind them that although some policies might harm those with less power or be against the code of ethics it still might be best to implement them. There are no easy answers to some of their questions and I try to encourage them to always think about which individuals or groups gain or lose when particular policy is implemented.
I have been rated twice as a “Teacher Graded as Excellent” in my ICES teaching evaluations and I believe this is because I ensure that there is a safe and dynamic atmosphere in my classrooms.
Photo Credit: Janet Eke