Library Science Professor Receives Book Publication

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sep 12, 2019) Shannon Oltmann, an associate professor of library science, recently had her first book published, titled “Practicing Intellectual Freedom in Libraries”. Oltmann has written chapters for books in the past, but this publication marks her first full book. The book breaks down the practice of intellectual freedom and is focused towards librarians, library students, and covers many different types of libraries.

Oltmann began writing when she was contacted by an agent about writing a book concerning intellectual freedom and censorship. Although not heavily research-focused, the book serves to give practical information as an aid.

Oltmann believes that intellectual freedom is one of the foundations for librarianship.

“Intellectual freedom says ‘I won’t restrict your access to information based on what I believe or what I think’,” Oltmann said. “If we took all the books off the shelf that someone had a problem with, we would probably be left with no books.”

“Instead, libraries take the stance that we should put as many books on the shelves as possible, we should have access to as much information as possible, and then teach people how to find and evaluate good information,” Oltmann said.

Despite challenges with beginning the writing process and keeping to deadline, Oltmann credits excellent support from her wife, family and friends for encouraging her and helping her to enjoy the process.

“Sometimes it was a real challenge, but it was also a lot of fun to take all this knowledge that I have developed over the years…and to put it all into one product and distill it all down into one book,” Oltmann said.

She hopes that her book will inspire other people to learn more about the topic beyond what she includes in the text.

“These are really important areas for librarianship, but there is not a lot of research done in those areas,” Oltmann said. “If people read my book and are motivated to study more about it, that would be very rewarding.”

Oltmann was also selected by ABC-CLIO for their “Meet the Author” profile for September on the Libraries Unlimited homepage.

If you are interested in purchasing “Practicing Intellectual Freedom in Libraries” you can find it here.