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Laurie Halse Anderson Joins Colson Whitehead at the FTRF's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, May 17, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Yumeka Brown
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New York Times bestselling author and intellectual freedom advocate Laurie Halse Anderson will speak at the Freedom to Read Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, D.C. on June 22, 2019.  Anderson, recipient of the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her young adult titles "Catalyst," "Fever 1793" and "Speak," has been recognized for her ongoing advocacy against censorship.

Anderson is known not only for her award-winning works, but also for her willingness to tackle challenging – and often challenged – topics.  Her book "Speak," a young adult title that deals with sexual assault, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. "Speak" has been challenged numerous times and is still touching lives and making waves despite progress and the #metoo era.

Anderson will be joining keynote speaker Colson Whitehead, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Underground Railroad," on the stage at the 50th Anniversary celebration. The celebration will take place during the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in the Renaissance Washington D.C.'s Grand Ballroom, 999 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. and will begin at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public, and appetizers and a cash bar will be available. Tickets are $25 and available for purchase on the FTRF website or through ALA conference registration.

To mark its 50th Anniversary, the Freedom to Read Foundation has commissioned a limited-edition commemorative book, "Reading Dangerously," to highlight its 50 years of advocacy, education and litigation on behalf of the freedom to read.  The book features an introduction by author Neil Gaiman and an essay by former FTRF director James LaRue that looks forward to the foundation’s next 50 years.  Supporters of the foundation can reserve a copy of the book and purchase tickets to the celebration through its Kickstarter campaign, online at bit.ly/FTRFKickstarter.

The Freedom to Read Foundation is a nonprofit legal and educational organization founded in 1969 to promote and protect the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press; protect the public's right of access to information and materials stored in the nation's libraries; safeguard libraries' right to disseminate all materials contained in their collections; and support libraries and librarians in their defense of First Amendment rights by supplying them with legal counsel or the means to secure it. 

In addition to its litigation and legal advocacy in defense of First Amendment freedoms, the foundation supports projects and programs to educate librarians and the public about the importance of defending the right to read and speak freely by providing grants to libraries, schools, and community institutions across the country. FTRF also supports and funds initiatives and scholarship programs to improve intellectual freedom education for LIS professionals and students.

The Freedom to Read Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Celebration is sponsored by Penguin Random House LLC, Penguin Random House Publisher Services, Avenue4, Gale, a Cengage Company, Association of American Publishers Foundation, EBSCO, OCLC, Bound to Stay Books, ProQuest, HarperCollins, Rakuten OverDrive, Inc., Hachette Book Group, Simon and Schuster, Author’s Guild, Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), American Association of School Librarians (AASL), SAGE Publishing, Public Library Association (PLA), Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), Association of Specialized Government & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA), Visiting Librarian Service, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the trustees, members, and friends of the Freedom to Read Foundation.

For additional information regarding the 50th Anniversary Celebration, please visit www.ftrf.org/page/FTRF50 or contact Yumeka Brown at ybrown@ala.org.