Intellectual Freedom for Youth

Eight Ways to Take Action

How can social technology further intellectual freedom for teens?
How will these technologies affect the school library program?
What’s the role of the teacher librarian?

Let’s explore eight ways you can address key issues related to intellectual freedom and social technology for young people.

This page only provides an overview of each issue. To learn more, read Annette Lamb's article Intellectual Freedom for Youth: Social Technology and Social Networks (PDF)

Issue 1: The Controversy

Help adults and young people distinguish between media hype and genuine concerns about
social technologies. Then design learning experiences to help young people use the tools in
positive, productive ways.

Issue 2: The Law

Stay informed about legislative issues and advocate for laws and regulations that help educate
young people rather than simply limiting their access.

Issue 3: The Tools

Help students and teachers identify and use the most powerful and practical applications of these social technologies in teaching and learning.

Issue 4: The Content

Help students and educators evaluate the content of social networks and make responsible decisions regarding accessing and posting information.

Issue 5: The Profile

Provide young people and their parents with strategies for protecting their personal identity and security.

Issue 6: The Access

Build student social technology skills through guided experiences involving the use of both closed and open social systems.

Issue 7: The Policies

Ensure that your library policies are up-to-date and reflect the unique attributes of social technology.

Issue 8: The Potential

Be an advocate of intellectual freedom. Promote applications of social technology that
motivate young learners to read, think, and actively participate in meaningful projects and

Learn More

American Library Association

Go to the Office for Intellectual Freedom from ALA.

Go to the AASL Intellectual Freedom page.

PBS Frontline

Go to Growing Up Online from PBS Frontline for a great overview of how Internet is impacting young people.

Read Annette Lamb's article Intellectual Freedom for Youth: Social Technology and Social Networks (PDF) in Knowledge Quest. Available in the PBS Teachers: Library Media & Tech Coordinators in Articles from AASL.

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