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Roll of Honor
Robert P. Doyle2009 recipient - Executive Director, Illinois Library Assn
Frank Zappa1994 recipient (deceased) - musician, composer, artist, iconoclast, free expression hero

Recent Accomplishments
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September 2013 update:
 
• When word got out that the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) had ordered the removal of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis from classrooms and school libraries, FTRF worked with local students, librarians, teachers, and concerned citizens to restore access. We contacted CPS administrators and the local media, and filed a Freedom of Information Act request for details of the removal decision. Since then, the district has confirmed that the book will remain available in libraries and for instructional use above the seventh-grade level.

• Via the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, the Foundation provided seven grants to libraries and community groups for Banned Books Week Read-Outs. These grants, in addition to providing much-needed support for wonderful grassroots events, helped bring awareness of the Freedom to Read Foundation—and Judith Krug’s legacy—to communities across the country. 

• In our most recent case, filed in August, the Freedom to Read Foundation joined with other free speech organizations in filing an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court asking it to grant certiorari in a case involving a New York State tax that, we believe, unconstitutionally discriminates against certain entertainment performances because they’re perceived to be "low value” speech. You can read more about this case in the upcoming issue of Freedom to Read Foundation News, which is a benefit of your membership.

• One of FTRF’s proudest moments this year came in January, when it was announced that the Davis County, Utah, Public School System would reinstate Patricia Polacco’s In Our Mothers’ House, unrestricted to school library shelves. FTRF worked very closely with the ACLU of Utah—providing expert legal assistance and other resources to ensure the strongest case possible. Our behind-the-scenes efforts contributed to the quick settlement by the school board.

 


October 2012 update

· We just finished a tremendously successful Banned Books Week! This year was FTRF’s first as an official Banned Books Week sponsor, and with the eight Judith Krug Memorial Fund event grants, our record-breaking social media presence, and speaking engagements around the country, FTRF’s profile was higher than ever. The word about the important work FTRF does is spreading farther than ever!

· For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision consistent with an amicus brief submitted by the Freedom to Read Foundation. This year it was on the tricky issue of whether someone can be prosecuted for lying (in this case, about military honors). The key issue in U.S. v. Alvarez – and one the FTRF stressed in our brief – was whether Congress can create a new class of constitutionally unprotected speech. We are pleased that the Court continues to acknowledge the harmful effects of such threats to the First Amendment.

· Also in 2012 we have been increasingly focused on the issue of filtering. We’re seeing more and more cases where these technological tools are blocking our right to engage, learn, and grow—and abridge our First Amendment rights. Recently we worked with a Missouri consortium to ensure their filters’ default settings didn't unconstitutionally discriminate against LGBT students. Our general counsel, Theresa Chmara, issued a memorandum about the legal context of filtering, in order to guide libraries going forward. And we were proud to be a national promotional partner of the American Association of School Librarians’ Banned Websites Awareness Day, which brought the issue to the forefront for school librarians, students, and teachers.

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4/29/2014
Understanding FTRF's Litigation Efforts: featuring Theresa Chmara



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