Intellectual Freedom Consulting Services

Has your library received a request for reconsideration of materials? Are you reviewing library or school board policies? Are you proposing a conference program or system workshop for other librarians? Are you organizing professional development or training for administration, boards, staff or your community?

The Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) can help you prepare against censorship and implement vital intellectual freedom best practices within your library or school through our consulting services. Delivered by a knowledgeable experienced team, OIF consulting services can help create or edit policies, strategize plans for working with communities and families, and provide workshops and programs designed to motivate and educate about the First Amendment, privacy laws, internet filtering, and intellectual freedom.


Meet the OIF Consulting Team

James LaRue jpgJames (Jamie) LaRue is Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Author of The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges (Libraries Unlimited, 2007). He is a former public library administrator, academic librarian, newspaper columnist and TV author interview host. An experienced speaker, he has provided hundreds of keynotes, workshops, and webinars for trustees, communities, and librarians on such topics as effective library advocacy, digital publishing challenges, patron privacy, policy formation, and civic engagement. [Linked In]

"Jamie LaRue is a terrific presenter. Very well organized and concise, yet informative."


Deborah Caldwell-Stone jpgDeborah Caldwell-Stone is Deputy Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, where she works on initiatives defending the First Amendment freedom to read. An attorney by training, she now works closely with librarians, teachers, and library trustees on a wide range of intellectual freedom issues, including book challenges, Internet filtering, meeting room policies, and the impact of new technologies and the USA PATRIOT Act on library privacy and confidentiality. She has served on the faculty of the ALA-sponsored Lawyers for Libraries and Law for Librarians workshops and speaks frequently to library groups around the country.  Before she joined ALA in 2000, Deborah practiced appellate law before the state and federal courts in Chicago, Illinois. [Linked In]

"After a multi-day inservice, the Delaware School Board members heeded Deborah’s professional guidance as an attorney regarding their Intellectual Freedom responsibilities." - State Librarian 


Kristin Pekoll JPGKristin Pekoll is the Assistant Director for OIF where she works with librarians, teachers, administration, and parents regarding challenges to library materials and reading lists. After receiving her MLIS at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, she was a young adult librarian for 12 years in Wisconsin. In 2009, more than 80 YA LGBTQ books were challenged. While the library board voted to retain all of the books, Kristin learned the indispensable value of support and education for librarians. She continued to fight against censorship in Wisconsin as the chair of the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable. She is a contributor to the 9th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual and True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries. And she is a published author with AASL's Knowledge Quest, VOYA, and Huffington Post. Kristin has presented in panels and keynotes for national and state conferences. She designs original webinars and custom tailors all of her online presentations to the specific situation. Although, she has facilitated to a broad range of audiences, her favorite are still teenagers. [Linked In]

"Kristin has passion and energy in the subject of book banning; she knows the topic and that handling challenges is NOT easy; she also helped cheerlead the audience on this important value of what libraries are all about." - Tennessee Librarian

Our consulting team is here to collaborate with your library and community to ensure access to ideas and information.
"These presenters were the very best on the topic (meeting room policy in public libraries) and they really knew their stuff and how to communicate it in an understandable way." - Webinar Attendee


We tailor our content to each unique request. Please call us to discuss specific needs and how we can work with you. 
arrowTraining – We offer workshops, staff development, and in-service days to assist staff, boards, or administration on intellectual freedom best practices to implement in their libraries. OIF has presented advice and resources for Toronto Public Library, Kansas City Kansas Public Library, the Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES, the Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES, the Broome-Tioga BOCES, and the Delaware State Library.
arrowConsulting – One-on-one or small group consulting can be arranged to discuss policy development or review, or specific situations with a hands on approach. Our experts helped pass confidentiality legislation through our work with the Missouri Library Association, Pam Klipsch, and legislative sponsors.
arrowSpeaking – Dynamic and informative presentations for conferences, panels or webinars. Recently, OIF has appeared at the Tennessee Library Association Conference, the Iowa Library Association Conference, Random House Publishing and OUTLAWED: The Naked Truth About Censored Literature For Young People. 

"The presenter is just plain extraordinary. Inspirational." - Webinar Attendee

OIF does request an honorarium for in-person, on-site training and speaking services. We scale our fees based on an individual library’s budget and population served. Costs can range from a few hundred dollars for an hour to greater amounts for multi-day training or complex consulting. We are flexible. All services fees include travel and accommodations. All consulting fees and honorariums are allocated specifically to continue educating and training librarians in intellectual freedom principles. All payments should be addressed to the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom.


To learn more about our consulting services and to book our team for your library, contact OIF Executive Director Jamie LaRue at or 312-280-4222. For media inquiries, please contact: Heather Cho, Media Relations Specialist, 312-280-4020,; and Macey Morales, Deputy Director of ALA's Public Awareness Office, 312-280-4393, [Updated 2018]