James LaRue is director of the
American Library Association's Office for
Intellectual Freedom, and the Freedom to Read
Foundation. He is the author of The
New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing
Intellectual Freedom Challenges.
LaRue was a public library director for many
years, including a 24-year tenure as director of
the Douglas County Libraries in Colorado, and was
a weekly newspaper columnist and cable TV host. He
has written, spoken, and consulted widely on
leadership, organizational development, community
engagement, and the future of libraries.
The American Library Association's Office
for Intellectual Freedom was established December
1, 1967 in order to implement the ALA's policies
concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as
embodied in the Library
Bill of Rights, the Associationís basic
policy on free access to libraries and library
materials. The goal of the office is to
educate librarians and the general public about
the nature and importance of intellectual freedom
in libraries and to support librarians, teachers,
and administrators undergoing a material or
Jamie LaRue writes, "Free speech was a
foundational principle of our nation. Later, in a
time eerily like our own, it became the core value
of librarianship. Next Tuesday I'll discuss trends
in censorship, and what that suggests about the
course of the country."
For an example of some of the Office's work, see
LaRue's recent blog:
ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom Condemns
Censorship of Government Agencies.
'guerrilla' archivists to help preserve US
climate data (12/15/2016)
Copying Climate Change Data; Wayback Machine
Moving to Canada (12/19/2016)
Administration Restricts News from Federal
Scientists at USDA, EPA (1/24/2017)
And from 1984:
In the walls of the cubicle there
were three orifices. To the right of the
speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written
messages, to the left, a larger one for
newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy
reach of Winston's arm, a large oblong slit
protected by a wire grating. This last was for
the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits
existed in thousands or tens of thousands
throughout the building, not only in every
room but at short intervals in every corridor.
For some reason they were nicknamed memory
holes. When one knew that any document was due
for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap
of waste paper lying about, it was an
automatic action to lift the flap of the
nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon
it would be whirled away on a current of warm
air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden
somewhere in the recesses of the building.
"In the novel, the memory hole is a slot
into which government officials deposit
politically inconvenient documents and records to
be destroyed. Nineteen Eighty-Four's
protagonist Winston Smith, who works in the
Ministry of Truth, is routinely assigned the task
of revising old newspaper articles in order to
serve the propaganda interests of the government."
Hole in Wikipedia.
Also see Book
Burning and Censorship
in the United States.