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Robert P. Doyle2009 recipient - Executive Director, Illinois Library Assn
Frank Zappa1994 recipient (deceased) - musician, composer, artist, iconoclast, free expression hero

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

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, 14 hours ago
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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Graphic novels & comics will be the focus of Banned Books Week 2014

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Thursday, June 05, 2014
Fun Home by Alison BechdelThe sponsors of Banned Books Week (including the Freedom to Read Foundation) announced yesterday that the theme for 2014 will be banned and challenged graphic novels and comic books.  As the press release notes:

Recently, the acclaimed memoir Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, has been the flashpoint in a university funding controversy in South Carolina, while last year Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, faced an attempted ban in the Chicago Public Schools. Graphic novels continually show up on the American Library Association’s (ALA) Top 10 list of Frequently Challenged Books. The ALA released its current list in April and includes Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants at the top spot and Jeff Smith’s series Bone arriving at #10.

Two recipients of FTRF's Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund grantsannounced last week—will sponsor programs focused on Persepolis and Fun Home.  More activities will be announced in the coming months.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund offers a wealth of information and resources about banned and challenged comics and graphic novels.  See in particular their FAQ: Banned Books Week 101 and this rundown of banned and challenged comics.

For updates on FTRF's Banned Books Week 2014 activities, bookmark our BBW14 webpage and follow us on Twitter!

Tags:  Banned Books Week  censorship  comic books  graphic novels 

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Winners of the 2014 Krug Fund Banned Books Week event awards!

Posted By Jonathan Kelley, Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Last week we were pleased to announce the seven winners of 2014 Banned Books Week event grants via FTRF's Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.  These $1000 grants will be used to fund projects as varied as an Hispanic authors' banned literature symposium at a New Hampshire High School, an evening in Charleston (S.C) discussing the recent censorship of Fun Home at the local College of Charleston, the creation by Columbus State College in Ohio of an online "Open Books, Open Minds" exhibit, and much more.

Congratulations to this year's recipients! Stay tuned to our Banned Books Week 2014 page for updates on the projects as well as the videos and photos the recipients post after their events.

Tags:  Banned Books Week  grants  Judith Krug Memorial Fund 

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