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Lucille C. Thomas2007 recipient - Past President, Brooklyn Public Library
Judith F. Krug1995 recipient (deceased) - FTRF Executive Director from 1969 founding to 2009

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FTRF and ALA join amicus brief asserting readers’ First Amendment right to be free of NSA’s online surveillance

Posted By Administration, 13 hours ago

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and American Library Association (ALA) on Thursday joined with booksellers, international librarians, and research librarians to file an amicus brief defending their ability – and the ability of similar organizations – to challenge on behalf of their users government actions that burden readers' First Amendment rights.   The amicus brief was filed in support of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit  Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency.

 

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)  on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation and a broad coalition of educational, human rights, legal, and media organizations.   It challenges the National Security Agency's "Upstream" surveillance program.  According to NSA, the "Upstream" surveillance program involves copying Internet traffic—including e-mails, chat, web browsing and other communications—as the data traverses the fiber optic backbone of the Internet. 

 

This means that the NSA is looking over every reader's shoulders while they're online, compromising the privacy of every library user and bookstore patron who searches a library's or bookseller's online catalog, obtains an e-book, or consults online databases and journals for research, and deterring individuals from exercising their First Amendment right to obtain and read materials that are controversial or reflect deeply private concerns.

 

The amicus brief, written by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of the library and bookseller organizations, explains the importance of privacy to the unfettered exercise of First Amendment rights and argues that libraries, booksellers, and similar organizations can assert the rights of their users   related to privacy concerns associated with government access to, and surveillance of, users' reading habits.  It further emphasizes the chill on First Amendment rights that results when the government has unrestricted access to the records of what users read and view online.   

 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides more information on their website, and the full brief can be read online at this link.   The ACLU has full details about Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA on its website, linked here.    Other amici on the brief include the American Booksellers Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. 

 

 

 

Tags:  1st Amendment  ALA  amicus brief  internet  NSA  surveillance 

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Austin-area Malvern Books hosts Banned Books Week Event!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 06, 2015

Sunday, September 27 at 3:00pm.
This event will feature a “read out,” with special guests, including Tish Hinojosa and Mark Smith (Director of the Texas State Library and Archives), reading from their favorite banned books. Audience members are also welcome to read. Attendance is free, but donations to The Freedom to Read Foundation will be gratefully accepted.

Malvern Books
613 W 29th St, Austin, Texas 78705

Tags:  Banned Books Week  Read Outs 

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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issues decision in lawsuit challenging Arizona’s Ethnic Studies ban

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 22, 2015

CHICAGO — On July 7, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in inArce v. Douglas (formerly Arce v. Huppenthal), a lawsuit filed by students in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD).  The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Arizona Revised Statute § 15-112, which prohibits the use of class materials or books that encourage the overthrow of the government, "promote resentment toward a race or class of people," are "designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group" and "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

Read more HERE

Tags:  Arizona  Court of Appeals  ethnic studies 

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Come to the FTRF annual member reception next month in SF!

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gretchen LeCheminantNext month immediately following the FTRF Board of Trustees meeting in San Francisco, please join the trustees, your fellow members, and the winners of the 2015 Conable Conference Scholarships at the annual FTRF Membership Reception.

Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Amy Steinbauer

Location: Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard St., San Francisco
Outside room 131 N

Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.

This year's Conable scholars are Amy Steinbauer and Gretchen LeCheminant. Amy (@merbrarian) is a librarian in California while Gretchen (@gretchenalice) is a student at the University of Texas School of Information.

In addition to shmoozing, we'll have appetizers and you'll get a chance to learn more about FTRF's activities.

You can RSVP for the reception on Facebook or just show up! Bring your friends who aren't yet members, and we'll be happy to do the recruiting for you.

Tags:  ALA Annual Conference  Conable Scholarship  member reception  San Francisco  special events 

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Authors Levithan, Mackler & Smith highlight FTRF45 event in NYC

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Thursday, May 14, 2015
Updated: Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jeff SmithFTRF is excited to announce that authors David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy, Another Day), Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) and Jeff Smith (Bone) be appearing at the FTRF45 New York City event on Friday, May 29, in conjunction with BookExpo America. All three have had books subject to significant censorship challenges, and all three are passionate advocates for the freedom to read.

The authors will be signing copies of their books, which will be available on site.

Carolyn MacklerThe event will be held from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the headquarters of Scholastic, 557 Broadway in Manhattan, in their beautiful Greenhouse. Our thanks to Scholastic, as well as co-sponsors New York Public Library and Elsevier, for their support of this event. David Levithan

Tickets for this event are $25 and are on sale now at www.ftrf.org/event/FTRF45_NYC. We hope to see you there! 

Tags:  Carolyn Mackler  David Levithan  FTRF45  Jeff Smith  New York  Scholastic  special events 

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