Professional Media Reviews | October 1, 2012

starred review star Pinnell-Stephens, June. Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your Public Library: Scenarios from the Front Lines. ALA. (Intellectual Freedom Front Lines). 2012. 148p. index. ISBN 9780838935835. pap. $50. PRO MEDIA

The latest in ALA’s “Front Lines” series is a primer on the many aspects of librarianship influenced by issues of intellectual freedom. Each chapter reads like a complete mini-course; for example, in the section on collection development policy, Pinnell-Stephens (past president, American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska) covers critical elements in writing the policy, specific criteria for materials selection, and guidelines for a specific intellectual-freedom section of the policy. Practical suggestions for developing policies and clear, thorough explanations of legal concerns are included throughout. Complex points are illuminated with the liberal use of case studies. Each chapter’s Focus section discusses oddities and common misconceptions such as the legality of movie-rating systems in relation to First Amendment rights. Pinnell-Stephens raises red flags on common practices that could invite legal problems if challenged, such as “censorship by weeding.” The Questions to Ask section at the end of each chapter is a handy self-evaluation checklist for library staff. VERDICT Packed with current legal information and practical suggestions, this book is a “must-read” for all levels of library staff.—Deborah Cooper, Ithaca, NY

Student Engagement and the Academic Library. Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas: Greenwood Press. 2012. 124p. ed. by Loanne Snavely. index. ISBN 9781598849837. pap. $50. PRO MEDIA

This volume provides helpful analysis of and insight into the process of engaging college students with their academic library. It illustrates the role of the library beyond being a place where students access information, an activity they perform more and more without entering the library building or talking with a librarian. Snavely (Library Learning Svces., Penn State Univ. Libs.) has compiled 12 chapters authored by academic librarians from various colleges throughout the United States, including both original research projects about students’ engagement with the library and discussions of innovative projects such as a library radio show at the Georgia Institute of Technology Library and an alternate-reality game at Penn State University. Getting students to better understand the role of the library in their learning is the overarching theme. To facilitate browsing, Snavely provides a synopsis of each chapter in the introduction. The reader can scan those paragraphs for an understanding of the chapters and determine which ones may be of interest. VERDICT This is a great resource for academic librarians, a well-written, timely discussion of the purpose of a library campus.—Susan E. Montgomery, Olin Lib., Rollins Coll., Winter Park, FL