Consider This: Intellectual Freedom in America

Library offers two programs sponsored by Oregon Humanities

Josephine Community Library invites the community to join a series of two programs titled “Consider This: Intellectual Freedom in America” presented by librarian and scholar Dr. Carrie Gardner on April 23 and April 30 from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm offered virtually and at the Grants Pass branch of Josephine Community Library at 200 NW C Street. Registration is required.

During both programs, Dr. Gardner will discuss American’s access to information as guaranteed by the First Amendment with a focus on censorship during the hybrid (in-person and virtual) April 23 program and a focus on privacy during the virtual April 30 program. Participants will learn how the Founding Fathers created a new kind of government — a representative democracy — and how their documents still dictate how much access to information we Americans have.

“Today, Americans are more polarized than at any other time in our history and we are seeing more challenges to intellectual freedom,” said Dr. Gardner. “Unlike any other country in the world, America is unique in that we have a Constitutional right to access information.”

Participants will explore our right to receive information as a key component of our freedom of speech and walk away with the tools they need to identify ethical dilemmas in censorship and privacy. From McCarthyism to historical court cases, Dr. Gardner will examine American history to contextualize today’s issues and bridge our understanding of democracy as a vital part of the American spirit.

Dr. Gardner is a lecturer at San Jose State University. She has served as chair of the American Association of School Librarianship (AASL) Intellectual Freedom Committee, the AASL SIRS Intellectual Freedom Award, and served on the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and Chair of the Virginia Educational Media Association, Intellectual Freedom Committee. She has spent more than 10 years as chair of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Intellectual Freedom Committee and offers lectures and workshops on intellectual freedom, youth access to information, school librarianship and intellectual property.

“Consider This” was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Oregon Cultural Trust, The Standard, and Stoel Rives LLP, and is part of the library’s Everyday Civics program sponsored by Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, LLC. This program will be offered both in person and virtually. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, email info@josephinelibrary.org, or call 541-476-0571.

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