Meet the 2018 Intellectual Freedom Bloggers!

For Immediate Release
Fri, 12/29/2017


Kristin Pekoll

Assistant Director

Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)

American Library Association


On Monday, we flip the calendars to 2018; we resolve to change our lifestyles for the better; and we welcome a new slate of intellectual freedom advocates to share opinions and knowledge about a core value of the librarian profession.

The Intellectual Freedom Blog is a tool sponsored by the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) for use within ALA membership and for outreach beyond OIF. Our writers comment and report on censorship around the country. They opine about national news and events that impact intellectual freedom and privacy. They remark on expertise and research around academic freedom, Net Neutrality, and the First Amendment. They espouse professional ethics and principles. And most importantly, they engage readers, with creative content and original prose, to defend the freedom to read and right to think critically.

Here are the 2018 Intellectual Freedom Bloggers:

Alex FalckAlex Falck is a Teen Services Librarian at the Chicago Public Library and volunteer librarian at Brave Space Alliance, an organization focused on the needs of trans people of color. Alex is particularly interested in hearing and amplifying the voices of historically silenced people, including people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities. Alex listens to lots of podcasts, and blogs at Find them on Twitter @AlexandriaFalck.
Jessica GarnerJessica Garner is the access services department head at Georgia Southern University and has worked in public and academic libraries for more than 10 years. She has been involved with children’s services, collection development, cataloging and interlibrary loan first as a public librarian at Live Oak Public Libraries, and then at Georgia Southern University. Her scholarship interests include interlibrary loan, intellectual freedom and patron services. Find her on Twitter @jessCgarner.
Lisa HooverLisa Hoover is a public services librarian at Clarkson University and an adjunct professor in criminal justice at SUNY Canton. In addition to her MLS, Lisa holds a JD and an MA in political science. She began her career as an editor and then manager for a local news organization, adjunct teaching in her “spare time.” She teaches courses in criminal procedure, criminal law and constitutional law. She is passionate about First Amendment issues. She recently began her career as a librarian, starting at Clarkson University in June 2017, teaching information literacy sessions and offering reference services. Lisa and her husband Lee live in Norwood, New York, with their cats Hercules and Pandora, and pug-mix Alexstrasza (Alex). Find her on Twitter @LisaHoover01.
Andrea JamisonAndrea Q. Jamison is a professional librarian, writer and current Ph.D. student whose research involves examining the pervasive lack of diversity in literature. She has more than 17 years of experience working in schools and libraries, and she is the author of two books: Against the Waterfalls and Super Sonja. In addition to her full-time duties in librarianship, she is a mom, board member for ALA's Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable, chair for the EMIERT Multicultural Awards, reviewer for the School Library Journal, reviewer for Indieview, freelance writer, avid blogger and social justice advocate. She also works with the Illinois School Library Media Association as a member of the advocacy and conference planning committees. Andrea thoroughly enjoys working with children and speaks nationally on issues related to creating diverse and inclusive learning spaces for youth. Find her on Twitter @achitownj.
Jane'a JohnsonJane'a Johnson is pursuing a Ph.D. in modern culture and media at Brown University and an MLIS at San Jose State University. She holds a BA from Spelman College in philosophy and an MA in cinema and media studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Jane'a's research interests include visual culture and violence, heritage ethics and media archives.
Kristin McWilliamsKristin McWilliams is a youth services librarian/assistant branch manager at Houston Public Library. She started in June 2017 after completing her MLS at Indiana University. While studying at Indiana University, she worked as co-coordinator of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center Library on campus, center supervisor with IU Residential Programs & Services Libraries, and as a public service assistant and reference blog editor at IU’s Herman B Wells Library. As a queer woman, she has a particular interest in LGBTQ+ materials and serving LGBTQ+ youth. Find her on Twitter @writteninblue.
Allyson MowerAllyson Mower, MA, MLIS is head of Scholarly Communication & Copyright at the University of Utah Marriott Library. She’s very curious about curiosity, what drives people to uncover information, and how libraries of all types create demand for knowledge. As a tenured faculty member, she researches the history of academic freedom — a kind of intellectual freedom — and the history of authorship and scholarly communication at the institution. She provides the U of U community and the general public with information, tools and services related to both copyright and publishing. Allyson was a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2008, was nominated as a 2012 Society for Scholarly Publishing Emerging Leader, and served as the U of U Academic Senate President in 2014. Find her on Twitter @allysonmower.
Eva Rios-AlvaradoEva Rios-Alvarado is your glocal librarian. Her empowerment, spirituality and beautiful resistance stem from Xicana Feminist practice and philosophy. Currently, she leads projects in equity and outreach as Student Equity & Outreach librarian at Mt. San Antonio College Library. With a BA in geography and MS in library information science, she serves community college students exploring and crafting their information literacy repertoires. Eva’s leadership, through Banned Books Week, allows students and faculty to explore, participate and interpret topics in intellectual freedom, freedom of speech and censorship. Find her on Twitter @EvaRiosAlvarado. #XicanMLIS #LAallDay #librarianOfColor #locLA
Lauren SalernoLauren Salerno works in youth services at the Ovitt Family Community Library. She is passionate about developing a new generation of creative thinkers and confident do-ers. Her process art program, Artopia, was listed in best practices for nurturing creativity in children by the Association for Library Service to Children. When Lauren is not making a mess at the library, she is a writer of speculative fiction and creative nonfiction. Her writing can be found in the Los Angeles Times, xoJane, MiTú and The Rattling Wall. She loves monsters, Star Wars and Pokemon GO. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a tiny dog. Find her on Twitter @ParanormaLauren.
Robert SarwarkRobert M. Sarwark is a librarian at the Art Institute of Atlanta. He is originally from Chicago and enjoys dogs, pizza and writing bios in the third person. Find him on Twitter @RobSarwark.
Rebecca SlocumRebecca Slocum has worked in education as a teacher and library consultant for the last five years and is a recent MLIS graduate student from the University of North Texas. She is interested in issues involving intellectual freedom, censorship and collection development in school libraries. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys reading, writing, running and roaming the world. Currently, she stays at home caring for her son and writes at her blog, The Dewey Decimator. Find her on Twitter @bcslocum.
Alex SupkoAlex Supko is a librarian for Baltimore (Md.) County Public Library. He is also a member of Maryland Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Panel. He believes passionately that everyone deserves open access to the internet, and that your personal privacy is important.
Tess WilsonTess Wilson is part of the Civic Information Services team at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where she connects patrons with tools for community conversation and civic change. She also contributes programming to the STEM initiatives and The Labs@CLP, a teen digital media space. Her writing can be found on the YALSA Blog and the Carnegie Library's blog. In her spare time, she creates zines examining mental health concerns, volunteers with a local feminist makerspace, and tries to keep up with two dogs and a cat. She is a collector of anything from big dictionaries to small rocks, and her latest acquisitions were an MFA in creative writing of poetry from Chatham University and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. Find her on Twitter @tesskwg.