Tons of IF-related programs at PLA Annual Conference

Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE), Freedom to Read Foundation, Office for Intellectual Freedom, Privacy

The Public Library Association conference is getting underway in Philadelphia!  For those attending, check out this lengthy list of intellectual freedom programs (and a social event) below the break.  Warning: given the extensive selection, some programs conflict with each other.  Also, the list does not include Betty White’s closing speech, which may or may not feature an expletive.  Follow PLA Conference updates on Twitter using #pla12.

Thursday, March 15, 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Everyday Ethics: Tools for First Responders on the Library’s Front Lines

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 119-A-B

Concerns and complaints about services and programs aren’t scheduled. When facing an upset patron, there’s no time to brush up on library policies. How can you be prepared for that next public desk confrontation? What if you agree with the complainant? We’ll explore various ethical scenarios for front-line staff; offer “equip yourself” suggestions; and review available training resources and expert assistance. You will learn by observing and participating in role-playing exercises and group discussions.  Speakers: Martin Garnar, Regis University and Chair, ALA Committee on Professional Ethics; Theresa Jehlik, Omaha Public Library; Angela Maycock, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Thursday, March 15, 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Freedom to Read Foundation Meet & Greet

Omni Loews Hotel SoleFood Restaurant, 1200 Market St.

All welcome! No charge. FTRF members get a free drink.

Friday, March 16, 2:00-3:15 p.m.

Intellectual Freedom Update 2012: When Trustees and Meeting Rooms Collide!

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 115-C

Join Gina Millsap, Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library Executive Director; Kathy Middleton, Contra Costa County Public Library Senior Community Library Manager; and Kent Oliver, Freedom to Read Foundation President for a spirited intellectual freedom discussion. This program will focus on recent library board attempts to limit access to library materials by age in Topeka and the public meeting room policies challenged by the Faith Ministries Church in Contra Costa County.

Friday, March 16, 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Losing My Religion: Crafting Meeting Room Policies that Keep You In Charge and Out of Court

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 114

Christian legal advocacy groups are threatening legal action and filing lawsuits against public libraries whose meeting room policies exclude religious worship or religious activities. This workshop will discuss the First Amendment principles and legal precedents that underlie these challenges and provide practical guidance on crafting meeting room and other library policies that keep the library in charge while preserving users’ access and First Amendment rights.  Speakers: Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Office for Intellectual Freedom; Theresa Chmara, General Counsel, Freedom to Read Foundation

Friday, March 16, 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Up to the Challenge: Training Staff to Handle Intellectual Freedom Questions

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 126-A-B

Several years ago Jefferson County Public Library developed an extensive Intellectual Freedom workshop for all front line staff. This training involved both online and in-person training. This program will describe the components of system-wide intellectual freedom training and strategies for implementing that training. During the meeting audience members will be polled as to intellectual freedom issues that they most often encounter. Suggestions and examples for handling those issues will be discussed.  Speakers: Rhonda Glazier, Jefferson County Public Library; Cindy Phillips, Jefferson County Public Library

Saturday, March 17, 8:30-9:45 a.m.

In order to form a more perfect Union… Library Access as an emerging constitutional right

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 122-A-B

Freedom of information is at the core of our profession. Legal challenges have firmed up the library user’s right to access through library computers and the print and AV formats housed in our buildings. Legal experts, social service advocates and librarians will examine this concept, providing a forum for discussion on the unique responsibility of libraries to all users, and the library policies and procedures that may be barriers.  Speakers: Deborah Caldwell-Stone, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom; Leone Cole, Watertown Free Public Library; Katharine Doyle, Kopelman and Paige, P.C.; David Pirtle, National Coalition for the Homeless; Beverly Shank, Watertown Free Public Library

Saturday, March 17, 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Under the Covers: Collecting Erotic Fiction and Erotica in Public Libraries

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 114

Under the Covers is a panel discussion on the increasingly popular genre of erotic fiction and erotica. Topics will include a brief history of the genre, author & publisher insight to genre readers and discussion of collection development policies and handling possible challenges. The panel will consist of an erotic fiction author, an erotic fiction publisher, a member of the BISAC committee, a library administrator or board member, and an acquisitions librarian.  Speakers: Terri Clark, Mid-Continent Public Library; Katie Dunneback, East Central Library Services.

Saturday, March 17, 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Get with the Program, Get Graphic: Using Graphic Novels for Programming For Teens!

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 120-A-B-C

Your library has shelves upon shelves of Graphic Novels and Manga. They are popular and go out a TON … why not capitalize on Teens’ love for this format by creating innovative Outreach and programming!? Come to this hilarious presentation (you’ll learn how to effectively lie to children through comics) and find ways to program with Manga you’ve never even dreamed of. Also, hear how to effectively respond to censorship issues related to Manga and Graphic Novels.  Speakers: Svetlana Chmakova, Manga Author/Artist; Natalie Daniel, Washington County Library; Sarah Hall, Washington County Library; Matt Phelan, author/illustrator; Tom Spicer, Arlington Heights Memorial Library

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