Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Religious Books in Prison

The NY Times published an article on efforts to remove religious books from federal prisons that have not been approved for being non-violent. I first heard about this from a Muslim chaplain at the ATLA conference this summer but it is not limited to Islamic books, books of all faiths are being removed. The lists of approved books is not currently being made public.

1. As we remember the victims of 9/11 today what a sad legacy of those attacks. I understand that federal prisoners by definition don't enjoy all the rights that non-prisoners enjoy but it does not seem just to deprive them of the freedom to read religious material of their choosing.

2. I've so far only seen a little about this in library blogs. One would hope that the American Library Association will be as aggressive in denouncing this as they are in other cases of censorship.

3. This is also a reminder as we think about the future of information, that information is powerful and people in power will seek to control it. Religious information is perhaps especially powerful, a double edged sword, and that power can be threatening.

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