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Robert P. Doyle2009 recipient - Executive Director, Illinois Library Assn
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Read the latest news about FTRF and the First Amendment in Libraries and engage with thoughtful opinions from leaders in our community on The FTRF Blog. If you are interested in writing for the blog, please email Jonathan Kelley at


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Overview of US Supreme Court arguments in SBAL v. Driehaus

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, 8 hours ago
Yesterday the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a case in which the Freedom to Read Foundation submitted an amicus brief in February.  The case involves the right to challenge laws, prior to their enforcement, that potential plaintiffs feel could infringe on their First Amendment rights. FTRF wrote about the case in our most recent newsletter.  Yesterday's arguments involved whether Susan B. Anthony List had standing to challenge the constitutionality of an Ohio law on "false" campaign-related speech.

Our friends at Media Coalition have compiled an excellent list of resources to help you understand the case, and the importance of FTRF's involvement:
  • Transcript of oral arguments
  • Q&A with Media Coalition Executive Director David Horowitz
  • SCOTUSBlog has a thorough overview of the oral argument, pointing out that the justices seemed more intent on questioning the constitutionality of the Ohio law than addressing the "standing" question
  • Slate's coverage
  • Wall Street Journal article on Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office defended the Ohio elections commission in court even though he submitted a brief challenging the law's constitutionality, as "a representative of the people and the public interest"
  • "And lastly, the case caught the interest of satirist Andy Borowitz, who wrote on his New Yorker column, 'Supreme Court Calls Lying by Politicians an Expression of their Religion.'"
For more information on this case, visit FTRF's Current Litigation page and Media Coalition's SBAL v. Driehaus page, which includes an interactive map of where facial challenges have been brought in federal court.

Tags:  litigation  Media Coalition  SBAL v Driehaus 

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Eliza Dresang, LIS educator & past FTRF trustee, dies at 72

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
We were saddened to learn of the death yesterday of highly esteemed library school educator Eliza T. Dresang.  Eliza served on the Freedom to Read Foundation board of trustees from 2002–2004, and again in 2005 when she served out the expiring term of Gordon M. Conable following his death.

For more on Eliza's life and legacy, please see her obituary at School Library Journal.  

Tags:  Eliza Dresang  LIS 

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Captain Underpants is 2013's most frequently challenged book, per ALA

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Monday, April 14, 2014
As part of its annual "State of America's Libraries" report, the American Library Association today released the list of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2013. Leading the list for the second year in a row is Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series. Second was Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey, and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.

You can read the full Top 10 list, and compare it with prior years' lists, at

Tags:  Banned Books Week  Captain Underpants  Top Ten list 

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Remembering Judith, Part 5: 2009 Memorials

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Friday, April 11, 2014
Five years ago today, Judith Krug passed away. To honor her memory, we are posting a series of remembrances on the Freedom to Read Foundation blog throughout the day. If you would like to add a memory, please feel free to email or post a note in the comments.

For our final post today, here are some memorials of Judith from 2009 -

ALA's "Remembering Judith" page still contains numerous testimonials and links to articles and some of Judith's media appearances.

Judith's family suggested posting this obituary from NPR, which includes Judith talking about her work.

And finally, here's the tribute video created by American Libraries Magazine for -- and shown at -- the Freedom to Read Foundation's 40th Anniversary Gala:

If you would like to support Judith's legacy, please consider making a contribution to FTRF's Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund. Your donations to the Krug Fund will go directly to providing grants to libraries and other organizations celebrating Banned Books Week, and to FTRF's ongoing online intellectual freedom education efforts.  For more information, visit

Tags:  Judith Krug remembrances 

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Remembering Judith, Part 4: Eva Poole, Mary Minow, Mary Curtis

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Friday, April 11, 2014
Five years ago today, Judith Krug passed away. To honor her memory, we are posting a series of remembrances on the Freedom to Read Foundation blog throughout the day. If you would like to add a memory, please feel free to email or post a note in the comments.

Here are some additional remembrances we've received:

Eva Poole, Director, Virginia Beach Public Library, FTRF Trustee: I had just become director of the Denton (TX) Public Library in May, 1993 and was attending my first annual conference of the American Library Association the following month.  I arrived at the conference city airport, retrieved my luggage and while waiting in line for a taxi to my hotel, the lady behind me asked if I wanted to share the next cab with her.  I agreed to do so and while on the way to the hotel, we talked. The woman must have sensed my dismay about being away from three-year old daughter for several days.  The woman explained that she too had a daughter and that in spite of her constant travel, her daughter had grown up to be a very independent and confident young woman.  This person, whom I had just met, talked to me like my mother and really calmed my fears about “not being there” for my daughter.  She explained to me how my being a good role model for my daughter was even more important.  When we arrived at the hotel, she paid the cab fare and when she opened the cab door, I said, “Wait, I didn’t get your name”.  The woman turned to me and said, “My name is Judith Krug”.

Mary Minow,, FTRF Trustee: I remember Judith's handwritten thank you notes. Whenever I found something useful, I’d pass it along to her and it meant a lot to me, especially when I was on the newer side, to get a beautiful handwritten note of appreciation directly from Judith. It made me feel special and inspired me to work harder.

Mary E. Curtis, President, Transaction Publishers: I first met Judith Krug in the 1980s, when I became a member of the Association of American Publishers’ Freedom to Read Committee. At the time, the ALA parallel organization was called the Office for Intellectual Freedom. (I always thought the names should have been reversed, and told Judy that…) What a dynamo she was, and what a positive force! Erwin Glikes of Basic Books was the chairman of the committee, and he and Judy worked together so well. The basic issues were much as they are now; someone always wants to suppress ideas they don’t like. What’s new and different is the opportunities to do mischief with technology. I often wish Judy was with us, if only to hear her cutting through to the core concerns, as she always did. She made such a difference.

Tags:  Judith Krug remembrances 

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