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Emerging Issues in Intellectual Freedom
Friday, August 4, 2017, 1 p.m. Central


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Join the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom for “Emerging Issues in Intellectual Freedom,” a free webinar on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 at 1 p.m. Central.

Twice a year, FTRF trustees and liaisons meet to discuss emerging intellectual freedom topics in our libraries, schools and government offices. Often these topics overlap with issues of privacy, censorship and the First Amendment.

FTRF Developing Issues Committee will provide an overview of newsworthy intellectual freedom topics, including:

• Privatizing government functions
• Guns in libraries
• Net neutrality
• Disappearing government information
• Attempts to repeal FCC privacy protections
• Email privacy
• First Amendment Abridgement by law as it relates to protestors

“Emerging Issues in Intellectual Freedom” is an excellent opportunity for new intellectual freedom fighters who want to remain updated and vigilant on library issues, and for those interested in the First Amendment and current events.


Carolyn Caywood became a librarian in 1972 upon graduating from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1979 to be the youth services coordinator. Caywood wrote a monthly column on library services to teenagers for School Library Journal from 1990-1998. In 1984, she began managing Bayside Area Library and in 2000, she took on the NLS sub regional library for the blind. Before retiring in 2010, Caywood was honored by the New York Times as a Librarian of the Year (2004) and added to the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Roll of Honor (2006). Her professional interests are intellectual freedom, civic engagement and library service to a diverse public, especially young people. She serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Library Association Center for Civic Life.

Eldon Ray James became a librarian in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Texas at Austin. He decided to become a librarian while serving a federal prison sentence which forms the basis of his commitment to information services to the incarcerated and other under-served populations. He works as a researcher and Freedom of Information Act specialist for a private company in Austin, Texas. James became involved in IF while helping write the Prisoners Right to Read Library Bill of Rights interpretation. He authored and co-authored articles for ASCLA I Interface, a quarterly online publication. His professional interests are intellectual freedom, privacy issues, and information services to the incarcerated and detained, particularly young people. James serves as an IFC Committee member 2017-2019, IFRT Director-at-large 2017-2019, and the ASCLA liaison FTRF.



Do They Still Teach That? Ethics in LIS Curricula

Martin Garner, Presenter

Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 1 p.m. Central

As a degree, the master of library science is regularly questioned as to whether it is still effective as preparation for professional roles in the field. Concerns range from a lack of technical proficiency and practical skills in graduates to whether a graduate degree is even necessary to be a librarian. Defenders of the degree talk about the theoretical foundation given to graduates of library and information science (LIS) programs, including a grounding in the principles and values that undergird the professional work of a librarian. If that is one of the primary justifications of the degree, then it is important to understand how those principles and values, including professional ethics, are taught in library and information science programs.

More than twenty years have elapsed since the last comprehensive review of ethics education in LIS programs, so the American Library Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics decided to undertake a survey of all accredited LIS programs to ascertain the current state of ethics education in graduate programs, compare it to historical approaches, and discover how the committee can best use its resources to support the teaching of ethics to future librarians.

This webinar will review the study’s findings, discuss future research needs, and ask participants to reflect on their own educational experiences with ethics in LIS programs.

Libraries in the Jim Crow South and a Conversation with One of the Tougaloo Nine

Date: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 -  1 p.m. Central.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (ALA OIF) are excited to present a unique webinar: “Libraries in the Jim Crow South and a Conversation with One of the Tougaloo Nine,” on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at 1 p.m. Central. Join author Cheryl Knott (“Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow”) and Civil Rights activist Geraldine Hollis (author of “Back to Mississippi”), along with artists Michael Crowell and Chapel Hill Library Director Susan Brown, for an engaging and educational conversation on the history of libraries and life in the Jim Crow South.

The Jim Crow laws were in effect in the U.S. South from 1890 -1965. During that time, libraries were one of many segregated institutions. Geraldine Hollis (then Edwards), a student at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, was one of nine students arrested at the whites-only public library in Jackson for attempting to read books that were not available at the colored library. The recent movie “Hidden Figures” highlighted several heroines from the Civil Rights era and there are numerous unsung heroes who contributed to the progress we’ve seen; Geraldine Hollis is one of those heroes.

"IF and Minors" FTRF/OIF Joint Educational Webinar

We all have First Amendment rights, but does that include children?

Date: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Guest speakers: popular YA author Chris Crutcher and FTRF General Counsel Theresa Chmara.

Most of the challenges to the materials and services in libraries are launched by parents, and usually to protect children (some as old as 17). What freedom do they have to read, view, and check out the materials they want? Our speakers will explore how those rights can be protected and respected, and take a closer look at the rights of parents, teachers, and library staff who are concerned about age-appropriate materials.

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