On this day 20 years ago, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion striking down the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”). This statute constituted the first attempt by Congress to regulate the content of material on the Internet. The CDA made it a crime to place content on the Internet that was ‘indecent’ or ‘patently offensive’ if that content would be accessed by minors under the age of 18.
ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference is in Windy City Chicago and the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be there staffing the different committee meetings and programs. Committee meetings and programs are open to any attendee, and they’re often a good way to learn about the business of ALA and its intellectual freedom initiatives.
Librarians Sarah Houghton and Andy Woodworth recently launched an independent special project, Operation 451, which directly addresses several of the core principles of librarianship.
“Alabama Story” follows the true story of one librarian’s fight to defend a children’s book in the 1950s.
I wanted to take a moment to thank the people who recently stood for election to the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) board.
For the seventh year, the Freedom to Read Foundation is offering grants to support a wide variety of engaging, provocative and fun events commemorating Banned Books Week. Applications are open for the 2016 Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund Banned Books Week event grants, sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF). Organizations are encouraged to apply for grants of $1,000 and/or $2,500 in support of activities celebrating Banned Books Week (Sept. 25–Oct. 1, 2016).
Applications for the grants will be accepted through May 15, 2016.
March 23, 2016 – Intellectual Freedom News is a compilation of news delivered by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom including current book challenges in libraries and schools and articles about privacy, internet filtering and censorship
Please take a moment as we welcome James LaRue as the new director for the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. Born and raised in Waukegan, IL, he’s spent the past 29 years in Colorado and recently relocated to Chicago to begin his new job in January. A lover of music, movies (Groundhog Day, Soapdish, Ex-Machina), breakfast anytime and Chicago hot dogs, he is a self proclaimed RE-reader, choosing to plow through a lot of the same books every year with favorites including: Heinlein, Connie Willis, Dorothy Savery, the Harry Potter series and the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. Director LaRue was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few more questions.
Thomas Paine wrote about ideas that were so controversial he was often imprisoned and fined, and almost executed. His works were banned in Europe and anyone who distributed, read or discussed his books faced prosecution. Starting this spring, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is working with Ian Ruskin to offer libraries an opportunity to provide screenings of To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine as a program for their communities.
While at ALA’s Midwinter conference, I was thrilled to hear the news that two very distinguished and prominent awards honored two very deserving and courageous freedom fighters. The Freedom to Read Foundation and Office of Intellectual Freedom proudly congratulate David Levithan on receiving the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award and Pat Scales on being the 2016 recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award.