Sunday, July 29, 2018

Canadian Federation of Library Associations National Forum Paper on AI and Intellectual Freedom

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations to which the Canadian Association of Libraries is affiliated held its first ever National Forum in Regina, Saskatchewan on May 2, 2018.

Forum participants discussed and helped formulate recommendations for the library community on the two issues of artificial intelligence and intellectual freedom.

On AI, the National Forum Paper stated:
"A clear consensus among working groups was the need for education, AI literacy and awareness among MIS and MLIS students and library staff so that we may be leaders in our own education and the education of our patrons. There is a strong desire for education and a curriculum that includes information on the risks of sharing information, privacy concerns, informed consent, algorithmic literacy, skills training and basics such as incorporating how Facebook uses your information into ‘How to use Facebook’ sessions. Table discussions included calls for position statements and policy positions from CFLA-FCAB to start a conversation about the issues and articulate opportunities and limitations, risks and benefits to inform policy."
On intellectual freedom, the paper recommended:
"The common theme that arose from the table discussions was the need, at all levels from national to local, for all libraries as well as CFLA-FCAB member associations, for a toolkit to deal with both proactive and reactive action on this topic. The toolkit might comprise: 
  • Templates for policy and procedure, going beyond traditional materials reconsideration requests and including programs, room bookings, etc.
  • Media, communications and advocacy training and templates as well as access to expert advice
  • Program and collection development tools to balance controversial expression by facilitating opposing sides and marginalized voices; this may include guidance on conversation programming, on displays, and on collection balance. 
  • Tools for educating staff, public, governing boards, and administrators on libraries’ support intellectual freedom 
  • Guidance and templates on responding to specific challenges, including a mechanism to express national library community support, and sample conversation talking points for acknowledging a complainant’s valid concerns
  • If possible, a dedicated fund to support smaller institutions’ expenses in defending an intellectual freedom challenge."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:47 pm


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