Deborah Caldwell-Stone appointed director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation

For Immediate Release
Fri, 10/25/2019


Lorelle R. Swader, MLS, CAE, IOM, CDF

Associate Executive Director

American Library Association

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the promotion of Deborah Caldwell-Stone to director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). Deborah served as interim director of OIF since November, 2018. In her new role, she also will serve as executive director for the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), an allied 501(c)(3) organization, which participates in freedom of speech and freedom of the press litigation. 

Caldwell-Stone previously served as interim director of OIF. In this role she served as OIF’s chief legal and policy analyst, advising member leaders about emerging intellectual freedom issues, recommending needed changes to ALA policies and serving as media spokesperson for press inquiries related to intellectual freedom.  She has advised on a variety of topics including the USA PATRIOT Act, the constitutionality of internet filtering and the value of Banned Books Week. 

Throughout her tenure, Caldwell-Stone has worked closely with librarians, teachers, and library trustees on a wide range of intellectual freedom issues, including censorship of library resources, book challenges, internet filtering, meeting room policies and the impact of new technologies, regulations, and government surveillance on library users' privacy and confidentiality. 

In her new role, Caldwell-Stone will serve as the principal representative of ALA to organizations that support intellectual freedom, open access to information and privacy, both nationally and internationally. She will be responsible for the overall operational and fiscal management of the office. As Executive Director of FTRF, Deborah also will have management authority as well as responsibility for advancing the goals of education and outreach of the Foundation. She is also the secretariat for the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund, which provides support to library workers who are, in the Trustees’ opinions, denied employment rights or discriminated against on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, or place of national origin or denied employment rights because of defense of intellectual freedom. 

Prior to joining ALA in 2000, Caldwell-Stone served as an attorney and former appellate litigator with the law firm of Cassiday, Schade & Gloor and as litigation attorney in the Ameritech legal department. 

Caldwell-Stone is an honors graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology where she holds a Juris Doctor and the Cleveland State University, where she earned a B.A. in mass media communications. 

Special thanks to the selection committee: Gavin Baker (Deputy Director, ALA Public Policy & Government Relations); Mary Ghikas (ALA Executive Director); Mario Gonzalez (former Freedom to Read Foundation Treasurer and Executive Director, Passaic Public Library); Jody Gray (former Director, ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services); Dan Hoppe (AED ALA Human Resources); Beth Nawalinski (Executive Director, ALA United for Libraries); Lorelle Swader (AED ALA Offices & Member Relations); and Julia Warga (ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair, Director for Research and Instruction, Kenyon College).

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