Hefner: Fighting for Freedom of Expression, Privacy in a Changing World
spirited prelude of songs performed by the Chicago Gay Mens Chorus, and
the presentation of a series of awards by ALA President Jim Rettig, former chairman
and CEO of Playboy Enterprises Christie Hefner was brought on stage and delivered
the opening address for the 2009 Annual Conference on July 11.
both her own experience at Playboy and the recent history of American society
and culture for the past 50 years, the Chicago native and daughter of Playboys
founder Hugh Hefner took the audience on a journey showing the change and revolution
that has shaped and reshaped this country and which has provided many challenges
to protecting first amendment and privacy rights.
Hefner began by telling of 30 years with the Playboy Foundation working alongside ALA and other groups fighting many battles together and she emphasized that librarians are on the front lines to protect certain core American values. Together, we did a lot of great work, and we did it over some very interesting times.
I think maybe the best perk was getting to
work with the [Playboy] Foundation and the people I met through the foundation.
For me it was more fun to do banned book readings than to go to the Playboy Super
But I guess the best times were when we got to combine both,
she added, recalling the time a team of Playmates made an appearance on the televison
show Family Feud and won $12,000 for ALA.
noted that when Playboy magazine was founded in 1953, America had a different
makeup than it does now more conservative and with a predominantly male
workforce and with women primarily staying home to raise the kids.
It was dominated by images of the man in the grey flannel suit, and the family was defined by Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best, Hefner said, adding I think about that time, and I think about today, and I think about how profound the changes have been in my lifetime.
noted the appearance of the Chicago Gay Mens Chorus as she described how
six states have legalized same sex marriage.
She added that more children are now raised by single parents, and the vast majority of children are now raised by two working parents. Indeed, if the trend continues, this year, for the first time in the history of America, more than 50 percent of the labor force will be working women, and increasingly, millions of those women are not the second paycheck, but the primary bread winner.
After noting the digital revolutions
effect on information delivery and access, and other changes, Hefner emphasized
that despite all this, certain American values remain as important as ever
issues involving intellectual freedom and privacy, for example.
Ultimately, the challenge and ideal of America was not just tolerance, but respect, Hefner said. She then asked the audience to consider how to foster respect for our differences in an environment when it seems there is every bit as much effort to ban ideas and words that some people find offensive as there ever was.
You have the opportunity indeed the challenge to preserve that necessary commitment to pluralism and to freedom of expression I thank you for being fearless on behalf of the nation, she said.
Library 2.0: The Ultimate Debate
Library 2.0 is a term that, love it or hate it, has been used in library circles for a while now. The concept is one that sparks a great deal of debate among librarians and other information professionals about what it is, what it isnt, and if it is really does do all that it claims. On July 13, the Internet Resources and Services Interest Group (IRSIG) of the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) put together a panel to discuss those very issues in Ultimate Debate: Has Library 2.0 Fulfilled Its Promise?
panelists were first asked what Library 2.0 meant to them. Cindi Trainor, Eastern
Kentucky Univeristy, said it is not only a set of tools and set of technologies
but a philosophy. To me, it means creating services and spaces for users that
welcome their participation and value their participation. Michael Porter,
Communication Manager at WebJunction.org, responded that its both incredibly
and the antithesis of that as well for some. He
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