AASL's President's Program to discuss intellectual freedom

Contact: Melissa B. Jones
AASL Communications Specialist
(312) 280-4381


For Immediate Release

April 1, 2008

AASL President's Program to discuss intellectual freedom

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CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce the AASL President's Program at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, "Intellectual Freedom: A Core Value," featuring Susan Patron, from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 28.

Susan Patron is author of the controversial 2007 Newbery Medal book “The Higher Power of Lucky” and a retired juvenile materials collection development manager at Los Angeles Public Library. Patron will discuss intellectual freedom and the school librarian's commitment to it as one of the core values of the profession. Her address will be followed by a reaction panel, which includes Catherine Beyers, an elementary school librarian from Lacrosse, Wis., and Cassandra Barnett, a secondary school librarian and an author/member of AS IF! (Authors Support Intellectual Freedom) from Fayetteville, Ark.

"When Susan Patron's “Higher Power of Lucky” caused such a stir last year, I saw the President's Program as an opportunity to spotlight intellectual freedom, since it is a core value of the library profession," said AASL President Sara Kelly Johns. "The focus of the reaction panel will be on the library profession's core value of intellectual freedom versus the tug between book selection, censorship and the effect of community pressures on the field."

The AASL President's Program is an annual event featuring prominent experts on issues relevant to school library media specialists; it is open to all registered conference attendees. For more information about this and other AASL programs at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Anaheim, Calif., check the AASL Web site at http://www.ala.org/aasl/annual.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.