For immediate release | July 26, 2011

Summer school is in session for intellectual freedom

CHICAGO - Librarians are facing the heat this summer. In addition to scorching temperatures across the country, librarians are also seeing how economic hard times can cause increases in challenges to intellectual freedom. With greater scrutiny on how tax dollars are spent, libraries often come under fire for providing access to ideas that some may find objectionable. At the same time, reduced funding and staffing can have a chilling effect on librarians’ willingness to stand up and defend access to information.

In response, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is offering a series of online learning opportunities this summer, to meet the pressing needs of busy library professionals. “Intellectual Freedom Summer School” webinars will provide information and insight on some of the most current topics in libraries today. Specific programs are offered for public, academic and school librarians. These hour-long, interactive sessions will feature speakers from OIF as well as practicing librarians in the field. The Summer School courses will be:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 2: “Intellectual Freedom Summer School: Hot Topics in Academic Libraries” featuring Barbara Jones, Deborah Caldwell-Stone and Michael Wright
  • Tuesday, Aug. 9: “Intellectual Freedom Summer School: Privacy Law, Ethics and Policy in the Library” featuring Deborah Caldwell-Stone
  • Thursday, Aug. 18: “Intellectual Freedom Summer School: Hot Topics in School Libraries” featuring Angela Maycock and Frances Jacobson Harris
  • Wednesday, Aug. 24: “Intellectual Freedom Summer School: Collection Diversity and Self-Censorship” featuring Angela Maycock
  • Tuesday, Aug. 30: “Intellectual Freedom Summer School: Hot Topics in Public Libraries” featuring Angela Maycock and Kent Oliver

“We see a growing need for virtual learning, as resources for professional development in libraries are stretched thin,” said OIF director Barbara Jones. “We are delighted to offer this series addressing today’s intellectual freedom ‘hot topics’ and are planning future online learning opportunities to help librarians stay informed and prepared for challenges around the corner.”

“Intellectual Freedom Summer School” sessions cost $39 for ALA members; $49 for nonmembers; and $95 for groups of two or more attendees at the same location. Registration is now available for the August 2 and August 9 webinars, and will be open for the remaining sessions on Wednesday, July 27. For more information and to register, visit

NOTE: If you wish to register for more than one webinar, please email or call 1.800.545.2433 and press 5 to be connected with ALA Member and Customer Service, to learn about discount pricing.