Protecting intellectual freedom in public libraries

For Immediate Release
Fri, 04/20/2012


Jill Davis

Marketing Manager

ALA Editions

1-800-545-2433 ext. 5418

CHICAGO — There is arguably no arena more contentious in the battle over intellectual freedom (IF) than the public library. Published by ALA Editions, “Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your Public Library,” by June Pinnell-Stephens, offers reliable how-to guidance for public librarians and paraprofessionals when confronted with challenges like censorship and policy disputes. A valuable resource chock-full of case studies, real-life examples and hypothetical scenarios, this book provides:

  • An easy and thoroughly engaging way to introduce new employees to basic IF concepts;
  • Incisive analysis of how IF plays out in the world of public libraries;
  • Practical advice on how to effectively handle intellectual freedom challenges;
  • Numerous sidebars, written by IF expert Deborah Caldwell-Stone, detailing copyright laws, statutes, past court cases and sample policies.

Pinnell-Stephens recently retired as collection services manager at the Fairbanks (Alaska) North Star Borough Public Library. She is a past president of the Alaska and Pacific Northwest library associations, was elected to the ALA Executive Board and served four terms as president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, where she remains on the Board of Directors. She was awarded the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award from the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 2003 and the Roll of Honor Award from the Freedom to Read Foundation in 2004.

ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is charged with implementing the intellectual freedom policies of the American Library Association through educating librarians and the public about the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. In order to meet its educational goals, the Office undertakes information, support, and coordination activities. 

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or