Emerging Issues in Intellectual Freedom

Friday, 8/4/2017
  • 2:00 PM-3:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Pacific)

FTRF Emerging IssuesTwice a year, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) trustees and liaisons meet to discuss emerging intellectual freedom topics in our libraries, schools and government offices. Often these topics overlap with issues of privacy, censorship and the First Amendment. Join FTRF Developing Issues Committee members Carolyn Caywood and Ray James for an overview of newsworthy intellectual freedom topics, including:

  • Privatizing government functions
  • Guns in libraries
  • Net neutrality
  • Fake news and fake information
  • Disappearing government information
  • Attempts to repeal FCC privacy protections
  • Email privacy
  • First Amendment abridgement by law as it relates to protestors

Emerging Issues in Intellectual Freedom” is an excellent opportunity for new intellectual freedom fighters who want to remain updated and vigilant on library issues, and for those interested in the First Amendment and current events.

Learning Outcomes

Webinar attendees will gain:

  • An introduction to intellectual freedom topics that may be new to them.
  • Knowledge of how these topics relate to libraries.
  • An understanding of the ways that intellectual freedom and access to information are often related to the First Amendment.
  • An understanding of the ways Freedom to Read Foundation volunteers conduct research, disseminate information and take action to strive for greater access to information.

Who Should Attend

  • Librarians: public, K-12 school, academic
  • Administration: directors, systems, superintendents, principals
  • Library boards and school boards
  • Organizations concerned with the First Amendment and intellectual freedom
  • State library associations and intellectual freedom advocates


Carolyn CaywoodCarolyn Caywood became a librarian in 1972 upon graduating from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1979 to be the youth services coordinator. Caywood wrote a monthly column on library services to teenagers for School Library Journal from 1990-1998. In 1984, she began managing Bayside Area Library and in 2000, she took on the NLS sub regional library for the blind. Before retiring in 2010, Caywood was honored by the New York Times as a Librarian of the Year (2004) and added to the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Roll of Honor (2006). Her professional interests are intellectual freedom, civic engagement and library service to a diverse public, especially young people. She serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Library Association Center for Civic Life.
Ray JamesEldon Ray James became a librarian in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Texas at Austin. He decided to become a librarian while serving a federal prison sentence which forms the basis of his commitment to information services to the incarcerated and other under-served populations. He works as a researcher and Freedom of Information Act specialist for a private company in Austin, Texas. James became involved in IF while helping write the Prisoners Right to Read Library Bill of Rights interpretation. He authored and co-authored articles for ASCLA I Interface, a quarterly online publication. His professional interests are intellectual freedom, privacy issues, and information services to the incarcerated and detained, particularly young people. James serves as an IFC Committee member 2017-2019, IFRT Director-at-large 2017-2019, and the ASCLA liaison FTRF.





How to Register

Tech Requirements

  • You’ll need a stable internet connection and working headphones/speakers.
  • If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before, please test your connection in advance of the session.
  • The meeting room will open 15 minutes before the start of the webinar.
  • Questions regarding technical requirements and issues can be directed here or here.
  • Adobe Connect Accessibility Features


Questions about content should be directed to the Freedom to Read Foundation, ftrf@ala.org. You can also find FTRF on Facebook, Twitter, and online. Join us today to have access to this and other educational opportunities.  Students may receive a 1-year free FTRF membership through the Robert P. Holley Fund

Questions about registration should be directed to the Office for Intellectual Freedomoif@ala.org or 312-280-4226.

Subscribe to future issues of Intellectual Freedom News, a free biweekly compilation of news delivered to your email by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom including

  • Current book challenges in libraries and schools
  • Articles about privacy, internet filtering and censorship
  • ALA activities, conferences and institutes, products, online learning opportunities, awards and grants, international exchanges, and more
  • How to get involved and make the most of what ALA offers

You can also find the Office for Intellectual Freedom on , and online, or email the office at oif@ala.org.

Intellectual Freedom eLearning

Sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation

Why be a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation?

Freedom to Read Foundation members:

  • Help defend the First Amendment in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Support librarians and teachers around the country besieged by attempts to restrict library materials and services
  • Qualify for discounts for upcoming events

Freedom to Read EducationYour Freedom to Read Foundation membership helps the foundation accomplish these objectives: 

  • Have a stronger voice in the courts, within the library community, and in the public arena - more members and more resources mean greater visibility for the freedom to read
  • Implement our strategic plan that includes an interactive website, more educational and legal initiatives, and better communication with members
  • Increase organizational capacity to ensure the continued vitality of the Freedom to Read Foundation for many years to come

Most importantly, as the Freedom to Read Foundation continues to monitor and actively participate in court cases at the state and federal levels, your membership helps ensure its ability to defend free speech. The foundation is particularly concerned about continued threats to our privacy, and of overzealous internet filters in libraries, which are too often used to create barriers to access constitutionally protected information. In a free country, access to such information should not be constrained.

As a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, you do make a difference when the freedoms of access and expression are at risk.

Personal membership levels

$10 Student | $35 New Professional/Trial | $50 Member | $100 Sponsor | $250 Supporter (check the FTRF website for additional levels and information)