Freedom to Read Foundation

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About FTRF

The Freedom to Read Foundation is a nonprofit legal and educational organization founded in 1969 to promote and protect the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press; to protect the public's right of access to information and materials stored in the nation's libraries; to safeguard libraries' right to disseminate all materials contained in their collections; and support libraries and librarians in their defense of First Amendment rights by supplying them with legal counsel or the means to secure it.  It is a separate 501(c)(3) organization with an independent board of trustees that is affiliated with the American Library Association.  Its staff and office are co-located with the Office for Intellectual Freedom at ALA headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

In addition to its litigation and legal advocacy in defense of First Amendment freedoms, the foundation supports projects and programs to educate librarians and the public about the importance of defending the right to read and speak freely by providing grants to libraries, schools, and community institutions across the country. The Freedom to Read Foundation also supports and funds initiatives and scholarship programs to improve intellectual freedom education for LIS professionals and students.

Celebrate 50 Years of Defending the Freedom to Read

Colson Whitehead, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad, will be the keynote speaker for the Freedom to Read Foundation’s 50th anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C. on June 22, 2019. 

The Freedom to Read Foundation 50th Anniversary Celebration is sponsored by Penguin Random House LLC, Penguin Random House Publisher Services, Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), SAGE Publishing, Gale, a Cengage Company, the Association of American Publishers and members and friends of the Freedom to Read Foundation.  

The celebration will take place during the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the Renaissance Washington D.C. Downtown's Grand Ballroom. Tickets are $25 and available for purchase on the FTRF website or through ALA conference registration. The event is open to the public. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available.  


Membership in the Freedom to Read Foundation is separate from ALA membership.  To join or renew your membership, visit our new site at


FTRF Staff

Deborah Caldwell-Stone
Interim Executive Director and Secretary
Telephone: 800-545-2433, ext. 4224

Yumeka Brown
Program Officer
Telephone: 800-545-2433, ext. 4223

Freedom to Read Foundation
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Telephone: 800-545-2433, ext. 4226