Office for Intellectual Freedom

Office for Intellectual Freedom

225 Michigan Ave, Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 280-4221

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Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials.  The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.


Report Censorship

  • OIF provides confidential support to anyone addressing a challenge to materials, programming, policy, or services. Our challenge report form allows you to report censorship and request assistance with the challenge.  Alternatively, you can send email to or call 312-280-4221 to request assistance.
  • Our free consulting services help you prepare for censorship and implement vital intellectual freedom best practices within your library or school. We create and edit policies, strategize plans for working with communities and families, and provide workshops and programs about the First Amendment, privacy laws, internet filtering, and intellectual freedom.


  • Subject matter experts from the Office for Intellectual Freedom are available to speak at workshops and professional development sessions on topics such as collection development, professional ethics, and law and policy concerning intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, internet filtering, the First Amendment and more.  
  • We create webinars designed to educate librarians and the public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries, often focusing on single topics, such as collection development, book challenges, or meeting rooms.. Our webinars are recorded. After the live event, many of the recordings are accessible at the OIF YouTube channel.or available through ALA E-learning.

Public Awareness

Read Banned Books disappearing mug


Intellectual Freedom Manual

  • We collaborate with intellectual freedom leaders to continually provide updated resources on a broad range of intellectual freedom issues, including censorship, material challenges, collection policies, privacy, internet filtering, academic freedom and equal access to information.
  • Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy (JIFP) includes substantive essays, peer-reviewed articles, book reviews, legal briefs, and opinion pieces. The $50 annual subscription allows readers to review the latest book banning incidents, court rulings, and legal controversies.
  • The 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual is more than just an invaluable compendium of guiding principles and policies; it’s also an indispensable resource for day-to-day guidance on maintaining free and equal access to information for all people, including
    • 34 ALA policy statements and documents, 17 new or updated for this edition, addressing patron behavior, internet use, copyright, exhibits and use of meeting spaces
    • At-a-glance lists summarizing key issues such as access, challenges and censorship, access by minors to controversial materials, and advocacy
    • Explanations of legal points in clear, easy-to-understand language, alongside case citations
    • Numerous checklists to help readers stay organized

Our Community

  • ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC)
    A committee of ALA’s Council responsible for safeguarding the rights of library users in accordance with the First Amendment. The IFC page includes its official charge, roster, current activities, and discussion of draft documents.
  • ALA Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE)
    A committee of ALA’s Council charged with augmenting the Code of Ethics through interpretations and guiding documents. The COPE page includes its official charge, roster with term dates, and current activities and reports.
  • Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT)
    A grassroots membership group of more than 1,000 intellectual freedom advocates. The IFRT executive board organizes programs, events, and awards. For $15 per year, all IFRT members receive free intellectual freedom eLearning.
  • Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF)
    FTRF was established in 1969 as a First Amendment legal defense organization affiliated with the American Library Association. FTRF is a separate corporation from the American Library Association, working in close liaison with the ALA.
  • State Intellectual Freedom Network (SIFnet)
    OIF hosts a series of online “State of the States” virtual meetings for Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) chairs from ALA Chapters and AASL Affiliates. These meetings are an opportunity to promote communication and discuss state, local, and national intellectual freedom issues.


For information on libraries and the First Amendment, library policy, filtering, meeting rooms and user privacy::
Deborah Caldwell-Stone
(312) 280-4221

For challenge support, information about book challenges, OIF publications and journals, and the State Intellectual Freedom Network:

Eric Stroshane

For webinars, professional development courses, and other educational opportunities related to intellectual freedom::

Joyce McIntosh
(312) 280-4221

For Banned Books Week, Unite Against Book Bans, Social Media, advocacy and outreach:
Betsy Gomez
(312) 280-4221

For Freedom to Read Foundation and Merritt Fund Support: 
Karen Gianni
(312) 280-4221