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 email@example.com.
45 years ago today, the Freedom to Read Foundation articles of incorporation were filed in Illinois, establishing an organization that has in the intervening years provided essential help to libraries and librarians facing censorship challenges.
In celebration of today's anniversary, the ALA Archives (which houses FTRF's archives) put together a blog post discussing some of FTRF's founding and achievements.
The Freedom to Read Foundation’s first president was Alexander P. Allain, an attorney, and considered one of the 100 greatest library leaders. In the first newsletter put out by the Freedom to Read Foundation he outlined the Foundation’s goals:
For many years librarians have looked to the Library Bill of Rights for guidelines insuring intellectual freedom in materials selection. [...] It is, however, only a statement of principle. It has no standing in law. No “rights” accrue from it, even though it constitutes the library profession’s interpretation of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. The Freedom to Read Foundation believes the profession must now attempt to establish legal precedents, through case law, to make the Library Bill of Rights not only a statement of principle, but a principle grounded in law and protected and supported by the nation’s judiciary system. Only when this gain is made can librarians and library governing bodies face pressures to remove materials or to restrict selection, not only with “right” on their side, but with the law as well.
Thanks to the archivists for the help they've provided with the Freedom to Read Foundation archives, and for this post!
November 20, 1969: The Freedom to Read Foundation articles of incorporation filed with the State of Illinois.
November 20, 2014: FTRF members kick off a year-long celebration of our 45th anniversary with a special Google Hangout!
Please join YA author Chris Crutcher, along with FTRF trustees, staff, and members as we hold the first in a series of events celebrating 45 years of defending libraries, library users, and the First Amendment to the Constitution. This event is free and open to all.
Starting in January, FTRF will hold a number of fundraising and awareness-raising events across the country. We'll let you know about events in your area, and other ways you can help support FTRF's litigation and educational efforts. The festivities will culminate in a very special online event next fall.
Make sure to use #FTRF45 for any Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media post referencing these events over the coming 12 months. We look forward to a great turnout!
Last week, in response to questions from some FTRF members about our participation in Antigone Books v. Horne, FTRF's new lawsuit challenging Arizona's "nude image" statute, we posted a fact sheet on the subject. We encourage you to check it out if you'd like a better understanding of the importance of the case - in particular its importance to librarians and readers. You also can read FTRF Executive Director Barbara Jones' declaration, submitted on October 16. They are two of several documents about the case, and others, on our Current Cases page.
If you are interested in serving on the Freedom to Read Foundation Board of Trustees - or know someone who would be a great candidate - consider submitting a nomination for the 2015 election. Nominations are open now through December 31 and should be sent to FTRF headquarters - see our press release for details.
Be 2015 members of the Freedom to Read Foundation (contact us if you're not sure of your membership status).
Agree to attend two full-day meetings per year, coinciding with the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting. The first meeting will take place on Thursday, June 25 in San Francisco.
Be enthusiastic volunteers, willing to help support the programs and goals of the Freedom to Read Foundation!