Student Privacy and Confidentiality, Book Censorship, and Intellectual Freedom in the School Library
Nawaz, Nataliya R.
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This thesis investigated three challenges a school library faces related to intellectual freedom; interpreting student privacy and confidentiality laws, efforts to censor school library materials, and the lack of a systematic approach to advocating for the intellectual freedom rights of students. The literature review reveals that the absence of a clear definition of “educational records” under FERPA, and gray areas in interpreting library records privacy laws, put librarians in a difficult position in the protection of minor students’ privacy and confidentiality rights. Developing judicial knowledge of federal court rulings regarding censorship in the school library can better prepare school librarians to defend students’ First Amendment rights to receive information. The role of the librarian is to create a culture of intellectual freedom in schools by instilling, promoting, and acting on the democratic values of society to protect basic human rights and freedoms.