For immediate release | April 26, 2016

Intellectual Freedom and Minors Webinar

Intellectual Freedom and Minors

Webinar hosted by

Freedom to Read Foundation and ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

Thursday, May 26, 2016

1pm CST

FREE for FTRF Members!

Join popular YA author Chris Crutcher and FTRF General Counsel Theresa Chmara for an educational webinar discussing the rights of minors. Most of the challenges to the materials and services in libraries are launched by parents, and usually to protect children. Does the First Amendment apply to children? What freedom do they have to read, view, and check out the materials they want? Our speakers will explore how those rights can be protected and respected, and take a closer look at the rights of parents, teachers, and library staff who are concerned about age-appropriate materials.

Learning Outcomes

  • Inspiration and motivation from one of the most controversial and frequently challenged teen authors
  • Definition and discussion of “soft censorship”
  • Information about the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the numbers around the children's and teen's books being challenged
  • Familiarity with the interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights that are relevant to minors
  • Clear understanding of specific legal terms that are often misused:
    • In Loco Parentis
    • Harmful to Minors

About Our Speakers

Picture of Theresa Chmara

Theresa Chmara is an attorney in Washington, DC. She is the author of Privacy and Confidentiality Issues: A Guide for Libraries and their Lawyers (ALA 2009). She has been a First Amendment lawyer for over twenty-five years and is a frequent speaker on intellectual freedom issues in libraries. She is a contributing author for the Intellectual Freedom Manual published by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association and a frequent author for American Association of School Librarians' Knowledge Quest journal where she's published an article titled "Do Minors Have First Amendment Rights in Schools?"

Chris Crutcher

Chris Crutcher’s years as teacher, then director, of a K-12 alternative school, and his subsequent twenty-odd years as a therapist specializing in child abuse and neglect, inform his thirteen novels and two collections of short stories. He has also written what he calls an ill-advised autobiography titled King of the Mild Frontier, which was designated by “Publisher’s Weekly” as “the YA book most adults would have read if they knew it existed.”

Chris has received the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award. His favorite awards are his two Intellectual Freedom awards, one from the National Council for Teachers of English and the other from the National Coalition Against Censorship.


Deadline to Register is 11:59 PM CST on Wednesday May 25.

Click here to begin the online registration process.

FTRF Members:

For free registration, enter your contact information and we'll email you login information separately.



The Freedom to Read Foundation is a First Amendment legal defense and education organization affiliated with the American Library Association.

The Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is an office of the American Library Association. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries and to support librarians, teachers, and administrators undergoing a material or service challenge.

Related Links


Kristin Pekoll

Assistant Director

American Library Association

Office for Intellectual Freedom