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50th Anniversary Celebration

On Saturday, June 22, 2019, the Freedom to Read Foundation will celebrate its 50th Anniversary.  It was on November 20, 1969 that the Freedom to Read Foundation filed its articles of incorporation with the State of Illinois. Since that time, FTRF has been instrumental in supporting efforts to keep books on library shelves, protect reader privacy from unwarranted government intrusion, and have unconstitutional laws struck down.

Special Guests: Colson Whitehead and Laurie Halse Anderson

Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad (an Oprah’s Book Club selection and winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize), The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York.

Whitehead  has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize, a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and was previously a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for John Henry Days.  

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author and intellectual freedom advocate. Anderson is a recipient of the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her young adult titles "Catalyst," "Fever 1793" and "Speak,".  Anderson has been recognized for her ongoing advocacy against censorship. 

Planning Committee Members:

Charles BrownsteinExecutive Director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, New York, NY
Emily KnoxPh.D., MSLIS, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
James LaRue, Intellectual Freedom Consultant, Colorado, CO
James G. NealUniversity Librarian Emeritus at Columbia University, New York, NY
Calvin ReidSenior News Editor, Publishers Weekly


A special thank you to our sponsors: 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.

 Funds raised for #FTRF50 will be used to support FTRF's legal and educational initiatives. You can make a general donation to #FTRF50 here.

 To keep updated on the latest goings-on with “FTRF50,” follow FTRF on Twitter or Facebook, and visit the FTRF Blog.  Use #FTRF50 for social media posts about 50th anniversary events.

 Questions? Contact Yumeka Brown at or (800) 545-2433 x4223.