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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 jokelley@ala.org.

 

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Check out these Krug Fund-sponsored Banned Books Week 2014 events!

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, 5 hours ago

Banned Books Week starts Sunday, and FTRF members and supporters are encouraged to check out some of these events from the 2014 recipients of grants from the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.  Follow the links for many more great events from these sponsors!  All events are free and open to the public.

To learn about other events in your area, and to tell people about your own events, visit the Banned Books Week calendar.

Arlington, VA: Library Survivor interactive game. Saturday, Sept. 27, 2:00 p.m. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association.

Library Survivor is a game where we pretend that the library is on fire and the trucks are loaded with books! Five books remain but there is only room on the truck for one more book. What book will we choose to save? Five banned books (played by five actors) will defend their importance to you, the audience, who will decide their fate!

Chicago, IL: Banned Chicago! Panel Discussion. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 5-7 p.m., John T. Richardson Library 1st floor Learning Commons. Sponsored by the DePaul University Library and the University Center for Writing-based Learning.

This year, Banned Books Week celebrates graphic novels and comics, frequent targets of censorship due to their visual nature. Hear from authors, artists, readers, librarians and activists at our panel discussion. Featuring:

  • Student members of 451 Degrees, Lane Tech College Prep High Schools banned book club and Chicago Public Schools recent challenges to Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • James Klise, librarian & author of Love Drugged and The Art of Secrets
  • Aaron Renier, comic artist and lecturer in DePaul's College of Computing and Digital Media

(Reception to follow event in JTR 115)

Raleigh-Durham, NC: 30th Annual North Carolina Pride Festival. Saturday, Sept. 27, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Duke University East Campus, Durham. Display sponsored by the LGBT Center of Raleigh Library.

Under the Center’s tent, the Library will display banned LGBT‐themed books as a reminder of our First Amendment rights and to draw attention to the harms of censorship. An official Banned Books Week event.

Columbus, OH: Open Mic Reading. Friday, Sept. 26, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Multimedia/TV Studio, Columbus Hall first floor. Sponsored by Columbus State Community College.

The Library will be hosting a banned books-themed reading and open mic. The reading will be emceed by Associate Professor, Ann Palazzo, in partnership with the Columbus State English Department. We would like this reading to provide students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to share poetry or other creative works that explore such concepts as censorship, intellectual freedom, and banned books. Light refreshments will be provided. 

Also check out their Buzzfeed listicle & Pinterest boards - one on graphic novels & comics, one on banned book-themed films!

Pittsburgh, PA: 2014 fREADom. Monday, Sept. 22, 7:00 p.m. Jewish Community Center, Robinson Building, Katz Auditorium, 5738 Darlington Road, Squirrel Hill. Sponsored by the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh personalities and performers will read from their favorite banned or challenged works.

Featuring:

  • Charlie Batch, former quarterback- Pittsburgh Steelers/founder- Best of the Batch Foundation
  • Paul Guggenheimer, host, WESA’s “Essential Pittsburgh”
  • Dan Kamin, world-renowned mime
  • Alan Olifson, comedian, host of Moth StorySLAM Pittsburgh
  • Hope Academy of Music and the Arts, arts education outreach program for youth
  • Vanessa German, poet, performer, photographer, sculptor and activist

Plus - Banned Advertising! Images and clips from ads that some folks thought you shouldn’t see!

Charleston, SC: Charleston Read-Out, Monday, Sept. 22, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, 161 Calhoun St.  Sponsored by Charleston Library Friends.

Featuring writers and artists reading from their favorite banned books. Presenters to include: Marcus Amaker, Herb Frazier, Sharon Graci, Bret Lott, Theodore Rosengarten, Joy Vandervort-Cobb, Marjory Wentworth, and Katherine Williams.

Tags:  Banned Books Week  BBW2014  Judith Krug Memorial Fund 

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FTRF provides course scholarships to two LIS students

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Thursday, August 07, 2014
Berenice Prado MendozaThe Freedom to Read Foundation is pleased to announce the two recipients of scholarships to attend "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship," an online course offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Graduate School of Library and Information Science (Illinois GSLIS) in collaboration with the Freedom to Read Foundation.  Berenice Prado Mendoza (left) is a student at Emporia State University and Jamie D. Carlstone (below) is at Dominican University.

The scholarships are provided via FTRF's Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.  

Jamie D. CarlstoneAs part of its sponsorship of the course, FTRF will provide all enrolled students with a copy of the book True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries, edited by Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco. FTRF is also participating via guest lectures by staff, trustees, and volunteers and providing material from its archives of Judith Krug's lectures and interviews.  The course will be taught by Illinois GSLIS Professor Emily Knox.

The course is available to any LIS student and we are excited the course will include participants from multiple institutions. Registration in the course has been extended to Friday, August 15 for anyone interested.  For more information, visit www.ftrf.org/?Krug_Education.

Congratulations to the two recipients, and many thanks to everyone involved in the course and scholarship process!

Tags:  Berenice Prado Mendoza  Intellectual Freedom and Censorship  Jamie D. Carlstone  Judith Krug Memorial Fund  online learning  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

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FTRF offering 2 scholarships for "Intellectual Freedom & Censorship" grad course

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Thursday, July 31, 2014
FTRF is pleased to announce it will fund two scholarships for the 2014 "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship" course. The course, a collaboration between FTRF's Judith Krug Memorial Fund and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is available to students currently enrolled in LIS programs other than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This is a ​synchronous​ course and students must be able to participate in online lectures every Tuesday from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Central US Time between August 26-October 10. Students also must be able to meet these technical requirements.

Applicants are asked to fill out the form at www.ftrf.org/?Krug_Education, including an essay of up to 200 words describing interest in the course. 

Please note that Monday (yes, this coming Monday, August 4) is the deadline to submit an application. Recipients will be announced on Thursday, August 7.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in this fantastic opportunity, please spread the word!  If you have any questions, contact Jonathan Kelley at jokelley@ala.org or (312) 280-4226.

Tags:  Emily Knox  Judith Krug Memorial Fund  LIS  online learning  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

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Read conference reports from Conable Scholar Mack Freeman & President Julius Jefferson

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Monday, July 21, 2014
The 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas was successful by nearly all measures (although we can't say for sure whether that extended to the tables). We're pleased to share with you two reports connected with the Freedom to Read Foundation:

Click here to read FTRF President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr.'s report to the ALA Council. Included is information about our litigation efforts, developing issues that could turn into future litigation, and the status of FTRF's various programs.

Click here to read John "Mack" Freeman's report as recipient of the Conable Conference Scholarship.

From a staff perspective, it was a real pleasure meeting and getting to know Mack. It was great to be able to introduce him to past Conable Scholars as well! Please let any new librarians or library school students know about this opportunity when it presents itself again early next year. We've got a great group going!

Tags:  ALA  Annual Conference  John Mack Freeman  Julius Jefferson 

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Supreme Court hands down decision in SBAL v. Driehaus: victory for FTRF!

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Thursday, June 19, 2014
On Monday, a unanimous US Supreme Court handed down its opinion in SBAL v. Driehaus, a case concerning the ability to bring pre-enforcement (or facial) challenges to laws that could violate First Amendment rights. FTRF was one of several organizations to join an amicus brief filed in March by Media Coalition.

The Court held in this case that the plaintiff's threat of prosecution was "sufficiently imminent" to allow it to move forward.  It will now return to the lower courts to proceed on other issues.  A full analysis of the opinion is available on SCOTUS Blog.

In a press release, Media Coalition executive director David Horowitz said, “We are gratified that the Court today recognized the immense harm that can occur when individuals are required to put their liberty at risk in order to vindicate their free speech rights. This decision affirms the principle that a person, organization or business should not have to risk prosecution to challenge the Constitutionality of a law.”

Media Coalition noted that the Court cited Virginia v. American Booksellers Association, one of many "mini-CDA" internet content cases in which FTRF and other Media Coalition members were plaintiffs, as an example of a case in which a "reasonable fear of prosecution" provided sufficient standing to challenge a statute (that was ruled unconstitutional). 

In April, FTRF provided a rundown of oral arguments in the case.  See also our press release from March after filing the amiucs.

Tags:  litigation  Media Coalition  SBAL v Driehaus  Supreme Court 

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