Libraries and the First Amendment

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At ALA this year I went to a presentation about Libraries and the First Amendment, given by the McCormick Freedom Museum in Chicago. The presenter said that when he gives presentations about the first amendment, he often asks audiences who can name the five freedoms guaranteed under the first amendment. He also asks who can name the five main characters on the Simpsons. Rather shockingly, many more people can answer the second question. (The librarians in attendance did not seem to have a problem naming the five freedoms. The presenter did not ask us to name the Simpsons characters).

The Freedom Museum has a very nice and informative website devoted to educating Americans about freedom and the first amendment. The interactive exhibit on Libraries and the First Amendment allows viewers to vote on issues, and leave their comments. I particularly liked the map showing where censorship challenges have happened around the country.

Yes, I can name the five freedoms: speech, religion, press, petition, assembly. And the five Simpsons characters are Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.

 

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      I am a reference and instruction librarian at Penn State University Libraries in Library Learning Services and Education and Behavioral Sciences.       
     

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