For immediate release | May 1, 2012

'Engaging Communities through Controversy' webinar addresses intellectual freedom and 'Muslim and American' issues

CHICAGO — Join a conversation on “Engaging Communities through Controversy” at a free webinar from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. CDT on Thursday, May 10, 2012, part of ALA President Molly Raphael’s Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities initiative.

Diane McNutt and Jane Light, Silicon Valley Reads, will describe this library’s "one book-one community" program in Santa Clara (Calif.) County. Its 2012 program, "Muslim and American -Two Perspectives," featured two books written by American Muslims, ("The Muslim Next Door" by Sumbul Ali-Karamali and "The Butterfly Mosque" by G. Willow Wilson). More than 100 programs were presented, including author readings, panel discussions, films, an open house evening at a local mosque and an art exhibit. Presented by the San Jose Public Library Foundation, the Santa Clara County Office of Education and the Santa Clara County Library, the goal is to stimulate learning and discussion throughout the community on a topic or theme of importance to the Silicon Valley.

June Pinnell-Stephens, retired collection services manager, Fairbanks (Alaska) North Star Borough Public Library, will share success stories on how to get your community to “stop shouting and start talking” about intellectual freedom issues.

Jos N. Holman, member of the ALA President Molly Raphael’s Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities committee and county librarian, Tippecanoe County Public Library, will lead the webinar.

This webinar is part of a series of Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities webinars that showcase how libraries around the country are engaging communities. It is cosponsored by the ALA Committee Library Advocacy and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. More information is available at

Registration for the May 10 webinar is mandatory. Visit to sign up today.



Marci Merola


Office of Library Advocacy (OLA)

800-545-2433 ext. 2431