Office for Intellectual Freedom

IFC, United for Libraries Host Free Webinar on Vendor Negotiation that Supports Privacy, Intellectual Freedom

Libraries are well versed in protecting intellectual freedom as it pertains to books, but many do not have similar policies for online resources and services. Digital library collections are often provided by third-party vendors, who may have different goals than libraries. “Vendor Negotiation that Supports Patron Privacy and Intellectual Freedom,” a free webinar on Thursday, will explore this disconnect and review best practices for negotiating with vendors on intellectual freedom issues.

Freedom to Read Foundation Announces Recipients of Fall 2020 Intellectual Freedom Course Scholarships

Amanda Barnhart, chair of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) Education Committee, announced four scholarship recipients who will receive funding toward an intellectual freedom course at FTRF partner institution San Jose State University (SJSU) this Fall.

The Fall 2020 Judith F. Krug Education Fund scholarship recipients are:

ALA's IFC Approves New Guidelines on Contact Tracing, Reopening Libraries, Video Surveillance

Responding to health and privacy concerns during the reopening of libraries and recent discussions of video surveillance and filming in libraries, the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) and its Privacy Subcommittee have approved guidelines to assist library workers: “

Privacy During a Pandemic: Town Hall for Library, Information Workers for Choose Privacy Week

CHICAGO – When states and local governments closed libraries and schools to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic, library workers and educators responded to the emergency by quickly adopting commercial online tools and platforms to ensure continued access to resources. But with the emergency becoming a new normal, libraries need to critically evaluate these technologies and address any potential privacy and security gaps that could pose a threat to users' privacy.

Intellectual freedom stories from a shifting landscape

CHICAGO — Intellectual freedom is a complex concept that democracies and free societies around the world define in different ways but always strive to uphold. And ALA has long recognized the crucial role that libraries play in protecting this right. But what does it mean in practice? How do library workers handle the ethical conundrums that often accompany the commitment to defending it?

Freedom to Read Foundation Launches Webinar Series

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) will be conducting a webinar series over the next few months to provide online education focused on intellectual freedom for library professionals. These webinars will be geared towards librarians, library students, educators, individuals involved in media, publishing, and social media, and individuals interested in the First Amendment, censorship, and copyright.The webinars are complementary to foundation members ($25 non-members) and will be conducted via Zoom.  

ALA welcomes LinkedIn Learning’s changes to terms of service

CHICAGO – After conversations with the American Library Association (ALA) and other industry leaders, LinkedIn Learning — formerly Lynda.com, a platform used by libraries to provide online learning opportunities to library users —announced today that it has made changes to its terms of service.

[Call for Nominations] 2020 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship

CHICAGO — Are you interested in Intellectual Freedom? Would you like to attend the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference in June and learn how the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and other groups in ALA are working to protect access to information? Applications are now open for the 2020 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, sponsored by FTRF. The Scholarship provides funding for an LIS student or recent graduate to attend the ALA’s annual conference June 25-30, 2020 in Chicago, IL.  

ALA opposes proposed Tennessee law that threatens state’s freedom to read

CHICAGO - Today the American Library Association (ALA) released the following statement regarding Tennessee HB 2721, which would require a parental oversight board to replace policies and library experts in the development of library collections and services.  Libraries that fail to comply with the proposed law may lose local funding, incur fines, and librarians and library workers may face jail time. 

The ALA stated the following:  

OIF responds to Missouri legislation that proposes policies and procedures that threaten access to information

CHICAGO – Missouri House Bill 2044, introduced on January 8, 2020, proposes the creation of five-member “parental library review boards” to identify “age-inappropriate” public library materials and restrict access to those materials. The bill proposes criminal prosecution for librarians who make those materials available to minors and would deny funding to libraries that do not employ parental library review boards to restrict access to their materials.