Intellectual Freedom

Authors Jason Reynolds, Nancy Pearl join high schoolers to Unite Against Book Bans at world’s biggest library event in Washington, D.C., June 25

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Award-winning young adult author Jason Reynolds, Book Lust author Nancy Pearl and American Library Association (ALA) intellectual freedom advocate Deborah Caldwell-Stone will join Bell Multicultural High School (Washington, D.C.) students to make the case for defending the right to read—and the joy in claiming that right. The discussion will take place at the largest library event in the world, the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibitions, held in Washington, D.C., June 24-27. 

Freedom to Read Celebration, Supporting the Merritt Fund, and Featuring Banned Author David Levithan

Join the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) and the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) along with banned author David Levithan, library professionals, authors, and friends for this 2022 Freedom to Read Celebration, Merritt Fund fundraiser, and reception.

Library, author, bookseller groups condemn legal action attempting to censor books in Virginia

The American Library Association (ALA) joined with Virginia librarians and booksellers, publishers and civil liberties organizations to issue a statement on June 1 condemning a Virginia political candidate’s legal action that seeks to halt distribution of two well-received books in Virginia. Based on the unfounded claim that the books might be "obscene for unrestricted viewing by minors,” such legal actions threaten Virginians’ freedom to read, according to the coalition’s members.

Freedom to Read Foundation 2022 Election Results

CHICAGO-The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association dedicated to protecting and defending each person’s First Amendment right to read, concluded its annual election on May 1, 2022. FTRF members elected four new members to its Board of Trustees and re-elected one incumbent board member for two-year terms that begin on June 23, 2022. Since 1969 FTRF trustees, staff, and members have worked to protect First Amendment rights through education, litigation, and advocacy.

More than 25 organizations join forces with the American Library Association to Unite Against Book Bans

Campaign urges decisionmakers to oppose book bans, protect the freedom to read 

The American Library Association (ALA) and a coalition of more than 25 groups are banding together to empower individuals and communities to fight censorship and protect the freedom to read. Organizations including the American Federation of Teachers and the Authors Guild have joined the association’s Unite Against Book Bans campaign to raise awareness about the recent rise in book challenges in public libraries and schools. 

New Banned Books Week materials and more debut in spring/summer ALA Graphics catalog

CHICAGO – The Spring/Summer 2022 ALA Graphics catalog delivers a range of exciting posters and bookmarks to inspire and encourage readers of all ages. The cover displays the new Banned Books Week poster which offers the important and timely message that “Books Unite Us.

IFRT awards 2022 Hodges Award to two Tennessee Organizations

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table's Coalition Building Committee will award the 2022 Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award to the Tennessee Library Association (TLA) and the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL). 

GNCRT seeks information about censorship of comics in schools and libraries

In February 2022 the Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) launched a new committee focused on preparing for and addressing bans, challenges, and other forms of censorship of comics in libraries. This committee’s focus on comics complements ALA’s broader work on challenges in the Office of Intellectual Freedom and the new Unite Against Book Bans initiative.

ALA Working Group on Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice schedules online discussions on potential alternatives to neutrality

CHICAGO — The ALA Working Group on Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice will host three online sessions for members and library workers that will provide opportunities to learn more about potential alternatives to neutrality.  The alternatives to neutrality for discussion include radical empathy, trauma-informed response, and cultural humility.

Meeting times:

Monday, April 25th at 1 p.m. Central (Focus on public libraries) (Zoom Registration Link)

United for Libraries and OIF to present May 11 webinar on ‘First Amendment Audits: What Your Library Board and Staff Need to Know’

Exton, Pennsylvania — What should library staff do when self-proclaimed “citizen journalists” enter the library claiming a right to question employees and film in any space accessible to the public? The May 11 webinar “First Amendment Audits: What Your Library Board and Staff Need to Know”, presented by United for Libraries and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, will share how to prepare by adopting well-crafted policies and training staff.