Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join or Renew
The FTRF Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
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.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: Banned Books Week  Judith Krug Memorial Fund  FTRF45  membership  BBW2014  banned books  Conable Scholarship  litigation  Roll of Honor  Media Coalition  special events  ALA Annual Conference  Barbara Jones  Board of Trustees  Carolyn Forsman  election  givingfREADom  GivingTuesday  grants  Judith Krug remembrances  Midwinter Meeting  Theresa Chmara  ALA  Annual Conference  censorship  Emily Knox  FTRF News  online learning  ACLU  Banned Websites Awareness Day 

Enjoy the #FTRF45 Kickoff video

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate the Freedom to Read Foundation's 45th Anniversary with our Google Hangout!  As promised, the kickoff was recorded and is available for all to view below:

A big thanks to the speakers, ​Chris Crutcher, Theresa Chmara​ , and Emily Knox!

Enjoy the video, and stay tuned to this page starting next month for announcements of special events and activities connected with #FTRF45!

Tags:  Barbara Jones  Chris Crutcher  Emily Knox  FTRF history  FTRF45  Theresa Chmara 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Kick off #FTRF45 with us this Thursday!

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Monday, November 17, 2014

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. 

For those unable to attend live, the Hangout will be recorded and posted to FTRF's YouTube channel.

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!

Tags:  Barbara Jones  Chris Crutcher  Emily Knox  FTRF45  Julius Jefferson  special events  Theresa Chmara 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Join us for a FREE webinar with Theresa Chmara on FTRF's litigation efforts

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Friday, March 21, 2014

FTRF members are invited to participate in a FREE live webinar on Tuesday, April 29, featuring FTRF General Counsel Theresa Chmara.  At this one-hour session, Chmara will discuss recent cases in which FTRF has become involved, including Arce v. Huppenthal and Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus. She also will take your questions about FTRF's litigation efforts.

The webinar will take place from  noon-1:00 pm EDT (9:00-10:00 am PDT).  It will be recorded for those members unable to participate live.

To register, you must log in to the FTRF site using your username and password.  If you are unsure of either, please 
go here

This session will be open to all current FTRF members.  To join or renew your membership, please visit If you have any questions about your FTRF membership status, please email

Tags:  Arce v Huppenthal  litigation  member benefits  Theresa Chmara  webinar 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Announcing free April 3 FTRF member webinar - featuring Theresa Chmara

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FTRF members are invited to participate in a special webinar with Theresa Chmara, FTRF's General Council.  The one-hour webinar, entitled, "Filtering, Leafleting, and Book Banning", will feature updates and Q&A sessions on recent litigation involving libraries and the First Amendment.  

There is no cost to attend.

To register, visit 

If you are not a current member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, please join or renew your membership by April 2 to participate in this great event!

Questions? Contact Jonathan Kelley at or (312) 280-4226.

Tags:  censorship  filter  membership  online learning  Theresa Chmara  webinar 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Theresa Chmara discusses recent filtering decisions

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 2, 2012

Theresa ChmaraFreedom to Read Foundation General Counsel Theresa Chmara has written an article for American Libraries magazine discussing recent court decisions in Washington and Missouri affecting Internet filtering in libraries:

Why Recent Court Decisions Don’t Change the Rules on Filtering

Several libraries have been sued recently on the grounds that their internet filtering programs are unconstitutional, raising questions in the library community about whether the rules have changed about blocking software.

The short answer is no.

In discussing a federal judge's recent decision in the case Bradburn v. North Central Regional Library, Chmara explained that:

The fact that the district court in one case upheld an internet filtering system does not mean that other libraries can be assured of a similar result.

In another recent case involving a school library, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri reached a different conclusion. The court held on February 15 that the school district in Camdenton, Missouri, had unconstitutionally blocked websites that support or advocate on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people while permitting students access to websites that condemn homosexuality or oppose legal protections for LGBT people.

In that case, the district had to pay significant legal expenses.  Chmara concludes by noting:

If libraries use filters that block constitutionally protected material deemed harmful to minors and do not allow adults to disable filters, or fail to provide an effective unblocking system, those libraries may open the door to years of litigation and significant legal expenses.

We encourage everyone interested in this issue to read the entire article (plus Chmara's follow-up comment) at American Libraries.  As she points out, neither the article nor the comment are intended as legal opinions, and libraries should consult their legal counsel regarding their particular situation.

Tags:  CIPA  filtering  Theresa Chmara 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)