MLA Statement on Intellectual Freedom

On behalf of our members, member institutions and professional ethical standards, we at the Missouri Library Association (MLA) stand with librarians, library workers, and other educators in the state of Missouri as they select and provide access to their collections for readers. We further support the processes and procedures our libraries have in place to deal with challenges with concerned parents and community members and are deeply troubled by efforts to circumvent these processes for political gain or as a result of moral panic.

Libraries as public institutions have existed in the United States for over 250 years. Each year, we promote our foundational ideals, provide access for our patrons, and find better and more equitable avenues to improve our institutions. Perhaps our most important guiding principle comes from Ranganathan: “Every reader, their book and every book, its reader.”

The “freedom to read” is more than just a shorthand for encouraging curiosity and inquiry. It is a pillar of our democracy. Intellectual freedom means that all of us have the right to explore and engage with the ideas we choose, and to be informed about the world around us. Adults have intellectual freedom, but so do youth. We support MASL’s statement that says, “Students should have choices in what books they read.”

We librarians are skilled, credentialed and thoughtful professionals who make it our work to champion inquiry, curiosity, democracy and access to information. Librarians support the rights of parents to choose books for their own children, but not the rights of one person to choose what books are right for an entire classroom, school, or public. Through our deep immersion in books and materials, librarians and library workers understand the greater context of knowledge and understanding facilitated through our collections. We reject the claim that removing, labeling, or relocating a title will somehow shield children from the ideas contained within, especially in the context of our connected digital world. We further reject the notion that anyone can perform the work we do without significant engagement with the professional ethics and expertise of librarianship. Public and school libraries are safe places for children to encounter ideas in an environment that nurtures curiosity. Occasionally these encounters will include ideas that might be challenging. We support the right of readers to be challenged, to learn, and to grow.  Librarians and educators are the critical connection between readers and their books. It is our responsibility to champion these rights.

We support the expertise, thoughtfulness, and care exercised by thousands of librarians, library workers, and educators in the state of Missouri to foster the curiosity and inquiry that lives in young people.

Signed,

Cindy Thompson, Missouri Library Association President

Members of the Missouri Library Association Board

Members of the Missouri Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee

 

For further reading:

Ranganathan’s Laws

Freedom to Read Statement

The Library Bill of Rights

Core Values of Librarianship

MLA Statement on Covid-2019

Greetings MLA Membership,

We are entering unprecedented and uncertain times. The health and safety of our members and our communities is a top priority of the Missouri Library Association, especially in light of the presidential guidelines released today. These new guidelines issued by the CDC and the President recommend no gatherings over 10 people and to close schools.

The Missouri Library Association commends the libraries and local officials who have made the very hard decision to close their doors to the public and at the same time, we encourage others to take action.

The Missouri Library Association serves as a leader and advocate for Missouri libraries, and we call on all libraries in Missouri to close their doors until Sunday, April 5th, and to ensure that staff are fairly compensated during this crisis.

Libraries must do their part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and protect our staff and communities. The Missouri Library Association will do our best to stay on top of this quickly evolving situation and to communicate regularly as conditions change. We are providing resource lists for remote work, as well as virtual services and programming to patrons, and are here to aid in any way we can to support Missouri library workers. We must all work together to protect the most vulnerable among us, and to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Good luck and stay safe as we navigate through these difficult times.

– Missouri Library Association Executive Board

Library Advocacy Day 2020

Library Advocacy Day is about a month away! Join fellow librarians across the state on Wednesday, March 11th to talk to your legislators about how important libraries are to their constituents! It’s a day of education and advocacy for you and your elected officials. We will start the day with an overview and tips on talking with your legislators. Then, in the afternoon, there will be time to set up appointments with your legislators.

Just like last year, we will have some talking points prepared for everyone who attends. That seemed to work really well, and attendees liked having them as a quick reference. For those of you who participated in our Virtual Advocacy Campaign last year, we will have the same opportunity this year. Look for more information on that this week.

Registration is $30.00 and includes lunch. Register here: https://molib.wildapricot.org/event-3636093. Be sure to start making your appointments! To find your legislators, visit https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please let me know. The Legislative Committee is happy to help!

Dan Brower
Legislative Committee Chair
Missouri Library Association

MLA Statement on HB2044

The Missouri Library Association is aware of and monitoring Missouri House Bill 2044 (known as the “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act”) and any other legislation that has an impact on libraries. The Missouri Library Association will always stand against censorship and for the freedom to read, and therefore opposes Missouri House Bill 2044.

The Missouri Library Association is committed to supporting all types of libraries. MLA exists to support the mission, vision, and values of those libraries, which connect their communities to vital resources. We support the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement. Public libraries exist to provide equitable access to information to all of its users, as it is key to having an informed populace. Public libraries already have procedures in place to assist patrons in protecting their own children while not infringing upon the rights of other patrons or restricting materials. Missouri Library Association will always oppose legislation that infringes on these rights.

Cynthia Dudenhoffer
President, Missouri Library Association.

We want to meet you! Catch up with other librarians or make new connections! Also, if you are not sure if membership in the Missouri Library Association is right for you, this is a great opportunity to learn about the benefits of membership.

Please RSVP here: http://bit.ly/MLAMeet

Meredith McCarthy, MLA Membership Chair

meredith.mccarthy@molib.org

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 15TH – MLA Request for Proposals

Hello MLA Membership,

We have extended the deadline for Requests of Proposals for the 2019 Conference. The form went live on April 1st and will now be open until Saturday, June 15th, 2019. Thank you for everyone who has already submitted a proposal we’re really excited to read through your proposals. After considering our printing deadlines, we have decided to extend the deadline for a couple more weeks to give everyone one more chance to consider participating in conference this year by presenting.

BE BOLD AND PRESENT AT CONFERENCE THIS YEAR! Requests for Proposals form. Even if you are not ready to present this year, please forward this invitation along to your coworker, committee member or students, this is a great opportunity to get presentation experience is a safe and encouraging space.

As in years past there are several presentation formats, please take some time to consider what you’re excited to share with your peers this year and what format you think would be best communicate your content. Details on these formats can be found on the form itself, but if you have any further questions please email us at 2019MLAKC@gmail.com.

LIBRARY LAND STAGE
This year we are offering conference goers an alternative to breakout session throughout Thursday and into Friday morning. The Library Land Stage, located in the Exhibit Hall, will feature up & coming authors and storytellers from around Missouri. Running from 9-5pm on Thursday and 9-12pm on Friday, the Library Land Stage will continually increase traffic through the exhibit hall and offer more engagement opportunities between conference attendees and vendors, as well as, offer everyone something just a bit unconventional. Please see the form for more details about this event and we will continue to push more information about all our events out to you through our webpage and our Facebook page.

Before we let you go, we also have two other forms that opened Monday.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNIES
Please check out the MLA website for access to the Vendor Registration form, we need all the support we can get to make this conference amazing. There are several opportunities to support the conference; please consider having a booth in our Exhibitor Hall, it’s a great way to connect with conference attendees and build relationships. Purchasing ad space in the conference program that will go out to every attendee at the conference and will be available digitally to everyone. There are also Platinum, Gold and Bronze level opportunities to sponsor events and swag at conference, please see the Vendor Prospectus and/or the Vendor Registration form for full details.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Conference this October!

Conference Co-Coordinators
Katie McDonald, Tiffany Mautino and the 2019 Conference Planning Committee

Urge Your Legislators to Support Library Funding

Good morning, Missouri librarians!

Our Virtual Advocacy Campaign will be available through tomorrow, March 7th. If you were unable to join us in Jefferson City for Library Advocacy Day, you can still reach out to your legislators through our campaign, found here.

Follow the link and fill out the form. The system will automatically select your local representative and senator. On the next screen, you will see those legislators and the message that will be sent on your behalf. We worked with ALA to create a standardized message to make this first foray into virtual advocacy easy for everyone. All you need to do is click Submit and your message (email) will be sent!

The system is geared toward individual voters with recipients tied to zip codes. If you are representing your library that covers multiple zip codes/districts, contacting your legislators directly through email or phone may work better for you. To find your legislators and contact info, follow the links below:

Missouri Senators – http://www.senate.mo.gov/
Missouri Representatives – http://www.house.mo.gov/sitemap.aspx?pid=16

Thank you for all that you do, and let me know if you have any questions.

Dan Brower

Legislative Committee Chair

Missouri Library Association

Missouri Conference on History – today’s the last day to register!

The premier center for the study of Missouri history and culture
Cape Girardeau Columbia Kansas City Rolla St. Louis Springfield

 

Standard Registration Ends Today, February 20

Register online now for the sixty-first annual Missouri Conference on History March 6-8 at the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. The conference, hosted by the University of Missouri–Kansas City and Park University, brings together scholars, teachers, and other professional historians to share in the presentation of research, to exchange information on teaching and curriculum, to consider ways to promote the welfare of the profession and general interest in history, and to discuss other concerns common to all historians.

Standard Registration (2/13/19–2/20/19): $55 ea.
Late Registration (2/21/2019 or later): $65 ea.

Registration includes all conference sessions, an array of networking and evening activities, and additional events that invite attendees to experience and celebrate local history for a small fee. In 2019 the Missouri Humanities Council is offering a new program of financial assistance to both undergraduate and graduate students. Travel grants will cover the conference registration fee, lodging at the conference hotel, and up to $150 of additional related expenses. Learn more.

All presenters and participants must register for the conference.

Register Now

Start networking with other history professionals now on social media by using #mchkc19!