Class 4: Challenges and Filters (2017/09/28)

Class Prep:

  1. NEWS – find a couple of pieces of news; post links & note in class bulletin board BY MONDAY, and raise the issue for discussion in class. This is standard each week. 
  2. WRITING: Turn in Materials Challenge Scenario. ANONYMIZE the metadata and text of the challenge. Put your name in the FILENAME and send to me by email.
  3. Discovery / Writing:
    1. Find an organization that works in the intellectual freedom arena (besides ALA).
      1. Post a short description to the “Intellectual Freedom organizations” thread in the class moodle. (If you are the first person to do this, start the threat, please.)
      2. Check to see if this organization has a Wikipedia page. Could it be improved?
  4. Class project topic: Pick a topic, make a (realistic) timeline for yourself for research, drafting, revising, finishing, practicing.
  5. READ:
    1. Review the challenge response materials available on the ALA website at . Pay particular attention to:
      1. Selection policy at
      2. Questions about Youth –
      3. Guidelines for Reconsideration Committees –
      4. Responding to Formal Written Requests for Reconsideration –
      5. Responding to Oral Complaints
      6. Working with Community Leaders
      7. Censorship Q&A
    2. Additional ALA interpretations and materials
      1. Restricted Access
      2. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
      3. Guidelines to Minimize the Negative Effects on Intellectual Freedom
      4. Internet Filtering: Library Bill of Rights Interpretation
    3. More First Amendment principles, issues, doctrines.
      1. Public libraries
        1. Sund v. City of Wichita Falls, Texas, 121 F. Supp. 2d 530 (N.D. Texas 2000)
        2. Gay Guardian Newspaper v. Ohoopee Regional Library System, 235 F. Supp. 2d 1363 (S.D. Ga. 2002)
      2. Filtering in Public Libraries
        1. ACLU v. Reno, 521 U.S. 844 (1997) (20 years old this year).
        2. Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Library, 24 F. Supp. 2d 552 (E.D. Va., Nov. 23, 1998)
        3. Kathleen R. v. City of Livermore, 87 Cal. App. 4th 684 [104 Cal. Rep. 2d 772] (2001)
        4. US v. American Library Association, 539 U.S. 194 (2003)
        5. Read at least one:
          • Heins, Cho & Feldman, Internet Filters: A Public Policy Report (2d edition) (2006) – Executive Summary, Introduction (pp. 1-8), Conclusion & Recommendations (p.73), and flip through some of the analysis in Section I. and Section II.
          • Judith Krug, “Internet and Filtering in Libraries: The American Experience”, IFLA Journal (2000) v. 26 n.4, pp.284-287
      3. Religion: Free  Expression interaction with Establishment and Free Exercise clauses.
        1. Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) – The central case for determining whether or not state involvement with religion violates the Establishment Clause.
        2. Read EITHER the creationism in schools cases, or the public universities and student organizations cases.
          • Creationism in schools
            • Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968) (banning teaching of evolution)
            • Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987) (creationism in the curriculum)
            • Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005) (intelligent design in the curriculum) (This opinion is quite long and includes a very detailed history of “intelligent design”.)
          • Public universities and student organizations.
            • Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District, 508 U.S. 384 (1993)
            • Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, 515 U.S. 819 (1995)
            • Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 561 U.S. 661 (2011)

Topics Covered:

  1. Class Business.
    1. material challenges: how did you feel about them?
    2. news: any URGENT news? (e.g., upcoming events)
      1. Genericide in trademark law. Velcro lawyer anti-genericide video.
  2. Lecture / Discussion:
    1. guest : Andrew Grant-Thomas: Challenging Tintin in the public library
    2. post-guest discussion. What do you think about the substantive concerns he’s raising? What is ALA’s suggested response? Did the Jones do what ALA recommends? How do Andrew’s concerns fit into the current First Amendment environment in which public libraries operate? Could, or should, the law change …? What are the possible downsides to those changes?
    3. Readings and Discussion
      1. Any questions about the ALA challenge response guidelines?
      2. Any questions about ALA additional guidance? (restricted access; equity, diversity & inclusion; filtering?)
      3. Public libraries & “collections”: Sund v. Wichita Falls and Gay Guardian v. Ohoopee
      4. Public libraries & filtering:
        1. ACLU v. Reno
        2. Mainstream Loudon and Kathleen R. v. City of Livermore
        3. Readings on filtering: Heins, Krug, Abelson, ALA
      5. Religious expression — creationism in schools. Epperson v. ArkansasEdwards v. AguillardKitzmiller v. Dover
      6. Religious expression — public universities & student organizations. Lamb’s Chapel RosenbergerChristian Legal Society
    4. prep for next time:
      1. wikipedia — REF tag.
      2. class projects — Send me what you’re thinking about for your class topics.
      3. Next week is the last week on classic First Amendment. (1) library topics: Patron behavior; library employees; religious expression as speech, and access to library facilities, and library facilities as speech (meeting rooms, events, bulletin boards). and (2) Whither the First Amendment. The long arc, and the interactions with other legal regimes. Andrew’s thoughts about First Amendment & Equal Protection; the issues raised by Charlottesville, and the relation of the 1st and 2nd Amendments; employees and employers; other issues.