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FTRF and GSLIS at Illinois announce intellectual freedom course and scholarship opportunities

Wednesday, April 1, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jonathan Kelley
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The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) are pleased to announce a partnership to offer an online graduate-level course on intellectual freedom for library and information science (LIS) students around the country. The course, in its second year, will be taught by GSLIS professor Emily Knox, and is a project of FTRF’s Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.

“Intellectual Freedom and Censorship” is a 2-credit course and will be held August–October 2015. It is open to any student enrolled in an LIS degree program.  As part of the collaboration, Freedom to Read Foundation staff and volunteers will lend their expertise as guest speakers, and FTRF and ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom archival materials will be made available to students.

To encourage students outside the University of Illinois to participate, FTRF is offering four half-scholarships ($700 each). Applications for the scholarships are due May 1, 2015.  For more information and to apply for the scholarship visit www.ftrf.org/?Krug_Education.

Students enrolled in programs affiliated with the WISE consortium will be provided course credit automatically upon completion of the course.  Others will need to coordinate course credit with their home institution.  For technical requirements associated with the course, please visit http://groups.lis.illinois.edu/itdweb/bbcollaborate/started.php.

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the University of Illinois,” said FTRF Executive Director Barbara M. Jones. “Our first collaboration was, by all measurements, extremely successful. Knowing that new professionals have a strong grounding in professional ethics and intellectual freedom principles and practice is invaluable.” 

“Intellectual Freedom and Censorship is one of my favorite classes to teach,” said Knox. “It was a great honor to teach this course and to be ranked as excellent by my students in their course evaluations.  I am looking forward to teaching it in collaboration with the Freedom to Read Foundation in the years to come.”

Jamie D. Carlston, Dominican University student and 2014 scholarship recipient, had this to say about last fall’s class:

“What truly made the class valuable were the guest speakers Professor Knox invited each week. Each had stories about their experience with intellectual freedom. Instead of just discussing the issues theoretically, we were able to learn from those who had lived through IF situations. I really feel that after the course, I now have a more nuanced understanding of intellectual freedom and if I run into an IF issue in my professional career, I will be prepared to manage the situation.”

For more information please contact: Linda Smith at GSLIS, lcsmith@illinois.edu or 217-333-7742, or Jonathan Kelley at FTRF, jokelley@ala.org or 312-280-4226. 

The Freedom to Read Foundation (www.ftrf.org) is a First Amendment legal defense and education organization affiliated with the American Library Association. In 2009, following the death of its founding executive director Judith Krug, FTRF created the Judith Krug Memorial Fund. The Krug Fund has two purposes: to support Banned Books Week via event grants to organizations, and to provide intellectual freedom education. For more information on the Krug Fund, or to make a donation to support its work, please visit www.ftrf.org/?Krug_Fund.

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Illinois (http://www.lis.illinois.edu) is the premier LIS program in the nation, consistently ranked number one by U.S. News and World Report. We offer advanced degrees with areas of specialization including data curation, digital libraries, social and community informatics, socio-technical data analytics, and youth services as well as continuing professional development opportunities. Courses are available both on campus and online.


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