ALSC preconference shines spotlight on intellectual freedom

Contact: Aimee Strittmatter

ALSC Deputy Director



For Immediate Release

February 17, 2009

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will host the preconference “Meeting the Challenge: Practical Tips and Inspiring Tales on Intellectual Freedom” from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, July 10, during the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago.

The preconference will emphasize the right to read as an essential foundation of library service to youth and feature librarians and intellectual freedom advocates, including author Judy Blume.

The day will begin with Carolyn Caywood, Bayside and special services librarian, Virginia Beach Public Library, and library educator Carrie Gardner, assistant professor, Kutztown University, discussing the value—and values — of intellectual freedom in public and school libraries. A panel of librarians who have faced challenges will be followed by Attorney John K. Horany, a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) board, who will discuss some of the essential legal issues for librarians and his own experiences as an attorney. During lunch, James Larue, director, Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries, will speak about the opportunity a challenge represents during his luncheon presentation, “Woods without Wolves.”

Afternoon breakout session options will focus on role-playing to minimize stress; responding to a challenge and dealing with the media; coming to terms with challenging books (fear and self-censorship); and empowering and educating kids and teens.

Author Judy Blume, a thoughtful and impassioned spokesperson for the rights of children and teens to read, will conclude a day of pragmatic advice and passionate perspectives on intellectual freedom.

Advance registration, separate from ALA Annual Conference registration, is required for the preconference (event code: SC1, $190 ALSC members; $240 ALA members; $285 non-ALA members; $180 students. Advance registration ends on May 22.Â

For registration information, visit or contact the ALSC office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 2163.