Privacy to Pornography: What Staff Need to Know about Intellectual Freedom

ALA Webinar Privacy to PornographyNOTE: This past webinar has now been archived. The recording can be viewed below for free or on YouTube.

Whether you’re an educator or library director, front-facing circulation desk staff member or behind-the-scenes cataloger, understanding the First Amendment rights of your patrons is essential. In this one-hour webinar, Freedom to Read Foundation consultant Joyce Hagen-McIntosh will review best practices and ALA guidelines for topics ranging from privacy and pornography, to access and selection. Hagen-McIntosh will help librarians navigate the abundance of ALA resources and policies by providing real-world examples and addressing common issues in the library community. This 101 session is a perfect opportunity for students and new professionals to delve into intellectual freedom advocacy, and a helpful refresher for veteran intellectual freedom fighters.

This archived webinar is sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation and was originally presented on November 27th, 2017. 

Running time: 60 minutes

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how a library is defined (limited public forum) and how a library functions differently than a business.
  • Learn the definition of intellectual freedom and how it plays out in each library department.
  • Learn privacy basics as well as ALA guidelines and how laws (local, state and federal) protect patron privacy rights.
  • Understand the importance of policies that help library staff adhere to these guidelines.
  • Become familiar with the ALA documents that uphold our values of intellectual freedom, privacy and access to information.

Who Should Attend

  • Current and prespective LIS Students
  • Staff working in libraries that don't have a professional degree
  • New employees and volunteers
  • Anyone who would like a refresher in intellectual freedom basics


Joyce Hagen-McIntoshJoyce Hagen-McIntosh has a background in journalism and non-profit work, as well as an MLIS and over a decade of experience working in public libraries. She currently works as a consultant with the Freedom to Read Foundation with a focus on education initiatives.

Joyce’s passion for freedom of speech, access to information and the importance of First Amendment rights has lead to her becoming an intellectual freedom advocate and educator for both patrons and staff since 2004. 







How to Register

Tech Requirements

You’ll need a stable internet connection and working headphones/speakers.


For content questions, please contact or 773-909-9103 or Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at or 312-280-4221.

Questions regarding registration should be directed to ALA’s Membership and Customer Service department at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5 or

Through the Robert P. Holley Fund students currently enrolled in a masters level library science program may get a 1-year FTRF membership for free. To sign up for your free membership visit To learn more about the Freedom to Read Foundation visit us online at:

Subscribe to future issues of Intellectual Freedom News, a free weekly 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

Intellectual Freedom eLearning


Freedom to Read Foundation

The Freedom to Read Foundation, founded in 1969, is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association.  FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect - and individuals to access - information. Please consider joining FTRF as an individual or an organization to share this opportunity as a group. Members have free access to this and other educational opportunities throughout the year. Visit to become a member today.

For more information visit us online at or email