Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. Central

AASL's new resource guide, Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries, examines how to build and safeguard LGBTQ+-inclusive collections, instruction, and spaces. Developed and framed through the lens of the Shared Foundations from the new AASL National School Library Standards (Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Engage, and Explore), the guide includes why this is such crucial equity work, as well as easily accessible activities, reflective questions, real-world scenarios, and extensive resources. During this eCOLLAB webinar, the guide--including its exercises and frameworks and an introductory infographic--will be unpacked. Ideas for using the guide as part of a school or district-wide professional development will be explored, as well as ways a similar framework could be used to address other key issues for school librarians.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will

  • Become familiar with AASL's Resource Guide, Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries, accompanying infographic, applied framework, and activities.
  • Reflect on proactive steps they can take to build and safeguard their own LGBTQ+-inclusive collections, instruction, and spaces.
  • Brainstorm ways to engage their colleagues in ongoing professional development centered on this topic.
  • Begin to use the AASL Standards and six Shared Foundations as a similar lens to unpack a key school library issue of their choice.

Who Should Attend

School library professionals and those interested in the topic.


Rachel AltobelliRachel Altobelli is the director of library services and instructional materials at Albuquerque (N.Mex.) Public Schools and was a 2015–2016 Lilead Fellow. Her work has appeared in Knowledge Quest, American Libraries, and on the School Library Journal website. Rachel currently serves as the chair of the AASL Student Bridge Scholarship committee, a member of the AASL State Standards Workshop Task Force, and a member of the New Mexico State Library LSTA Advisory Council. She was privileged to be the AASL member guide for the group of ALA Emerging Leaders who created Defending Intellectual Freedom LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries. She's passionate about creating organizational change and advocating for representation of all students in school library collections.

Juan RiveraJuan Rivera (MLIS, Syracuse University) is the librarian at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in West Harlem, where he has worked to create a culture of reading and connect the library to community resources. He is a member of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries for the New York State Educational Department and was named a 2018 ALA Emerging Leader. He was recently invited to participate in the ALA Organizational Effectiveness Steering Committee and the AASL Social Media Editorial board. He is passionate about how libraries and librarians transform lives and communities.


Julie Stivers

Julie Stivers (MSLS, SILS at UNC—Chapel Hill) is the librarian at Mount Vernon Middle, an alternative public school in Raleigh, NC, where she loves helping students find and devour engaging, reflective literature. Her work has been published in Knowledge Quest, School Libraries Worldwide, School Library Journal, and YALS. She is the recipient of AASL’s 2017 Frances Henne Award and was named a 2018 ALA Emerging Leader. Her research and practical interests include culturally sustaining pedagogy, inclusive library spaces, and finding creative ways to dismantle the traditional literary canon.



Attendance during the live webinar is complimentary and open to all.

Complimentary access to the webinar archive is reserved for AASL members and subscribers of AASL eCOLLAB. Non-members and non-subscribers may purchase the webinar archive via AASL eCOLLAB. The archive is typically available within 1–3 business days of the live event.

How to Register

Register via Zoom. To join the webinar, use the personalized access link included in your registration confirmation or webinar reminders. (Review ALA’s personal data notification (PDN) before proceeding.)

As a webinar registrant, you will receive follow-up correspondence from AASL specifically related to this webinar (including, but not limited to, instructions for accessing both the live webinar and its archived recording) as well as information about other upcoming AASL eLearning. 

Tech Requirements

Internet connection and web browser.


A certificate of participation will be provided to attendees of the live webinar by request. To request a certificate of participation after the webinar, please email Jennifer Habley. email icon Certificates will be sent as PDFs via email within one week of the webinar.


Jennifer Habley
AASL Manager, Web Communications