Contributors

Staff

Jamie LaRueJamie LaRue is the Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, and the Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. Author of The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges, he has given countless keynotes, webinars, and workshops on intellectual freedom, advocacy, building community engagement, and other topics. Prior to his work for OIF, Jamie was a public library director for many years in Douglas County, Colorado. Find him on Twitter @jaslar.
Deborah Caldwell StoneDeborah Caldwell-Stone is Deputy Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation. She is a recovering attorney and former appellate litigator who now works closely with librarians, library trustees and educators on a wide range of intellectual freedom and privacy issues, including book challenges, Internet filtering, meeting room policies, government surveillance, and the impact of new technologies on library patrons’ privacy and confidentiality. She has served on the faculty of the ALA-sponsored Lawyers for Libraries and Law for Librarians workshops and speaks frequently to librarians and library organizations around the country about intellectual freedom and privacy in libraries.
Ellie Diaz, Banned Books Week Program OfficerEllie Diaz is the Program Officer at the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. With her journalism background and fierce devotion to the freedom to read, Ellie collaborates with experts on organizing ALA’s Banned Books Week and several other projects within OIF. As a biblio-writer, she enjoys writing on the intersection of advocacy and literature, contributing to publications such as the Loyola Phoenix, Programming Librarian, BROAD magazine and Mosaic magazine. Ellie is currently working her way through all entries of the newest AP Stylebook and crossing off books from her ever-expanding “to-read” list. Find her on Twitter @EllieintheStax.  
Kristin PekollKristin Pekoll is the Assistant Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Kristin communicates with state library associations on current book challenges and publications that deal with censorship, privacy, ethics, and internet filtering. She organizes online education and training on the freedom to read and how to navigate reconsideration requests and media relations. Kristin started her career as a youth librarian in West Bend, Wisconsin. In 2009, over 80 YA LGBTQ books were challenged over 6 months. While the library board voted to retain all of the books in this case, she learned the indispensable value of support and education for librarians. She continued to fight against censorship in Wisconsin as the Intellectual Freedom Round Table Chair. Kristin’s husband and kids have joined her in Chicago but they all remain true Green Bay Packers fans. She enjoys zombies, knitting, and the Big Bang Theory. Find her on Twitter @kpekoll.

News Editors

April DawkinsApril Dawkins is an Assistant Professor in the Library and Information Studies department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In May 2017, April completed her PhD at the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Her research focus for her doctoral dissertation was understanding the factors that influence decisions around selection in school libraries and the role of self-censorship. Prior to her doctoral studies, April served for fifteen years as a high school media specialist in North Carolina. She is also a past president of the North Carolina School Library Media Association. April also serves on the Intellectual Freedom committee of the South Carolina Association of School Librarians. Find her on Twitter @aprldwkns.
Kate LechtenbergKate Lechtenberg is a doctoral student in Language, Literacy, and Culture in the University of Iowa’s College of Education. After working in public schools for fourteen years as a high school English teacher and school librarian, her doctoral research now focuses on text selection, multicultural literature, educational standards, and equity initiatives. Kate teaches a young adult literature course in the College of Education and a school librarian course on print and digital collection management in the School of Library and Information Science. She is also a member of the AASL Standards Implementation Task Force. Find her on Twitter @katelechtenberg.

Contributors

Alex FalckAlex Falck is a Teen Services Librarian at the Chicago Public Library and volunteer librarian at Brave Space Alliance, an organization focused on the needs of trans people of color. Alex is particularly interested in hearing and amplifying the voices of historically silenced people, including people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities. Alex listens to lots of podcasts, and blogs at teenlib.tumblr.com. Find them on Twitter @AlexandriaFalck.
Jessica GarnerJessica Garner is the access services department head at Georgia Southern University and has worked in public and academic libraries for more than 10 years. She has been involved with children’s services, collection development, cataloging and interlibrary loan first as a public librarian at Live Oak Public Libraries, and then at Georgia Southern University. Her scholarship interests include interlibrary loan, intellectual freedom and patron services. Find her on Twitter @jessCgarner.
Lisa HooverLisa Hoover is a public services librarian at Clarkson University and an adjunct professor in criminal justice at SUNY Canton. In addition to her MLS, Lisa holds a JD and an MA in political science. She began her career as an editor and then manager for a local news organization, adjunct teaching in her “spare time.” She teaches courses in criminal procedure, criminal law and constitutional law. She is passionate about First Amendment issues. She recently began her career as a librarian, starting at Clarkson University in June 2017, teaching information literacy sessions and offering reference services. Lisa and her husband Lee live in Norwood, New York, with their cats Hercules and Pandora, and pug-mix Alexstrasza (Alex). Find her on Twitter @LisaHoover01.
Andrea JamisonAndrea Q. Jamison is a professional librarian, writer and current Ph.D. student whose research involves examining the pervasive lack of diversity in literature. She has more than 17 years of experience working in schools and libraries, and she is the author of two books: Against the Waterfalls and Super Sonja.
In addition to her full-time duties in librarianship, she is a mom, board member for ALA’s Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable, chair for the EMIERT Multicultural Awards, reviewer for the School Library Journal, reviewer for Indieview, freelance writer, avid blogger and social justice advocate.
She also works with the Illinois School Library Media Association as a member of the advocacy and conference planning committees. Andrea thoroughly enjoys working with children and speaks nationally on issues related to creating diverse and inclusive learning spaces for youth. Find her on Twitter @achitownj.
Jane'a JohnsonJane’a Johnson is pursuing a Ph.D. in modern culture and media at Brown University and an MLIS at San Jose State University. She holds a BA from Spelman College in philosophy and an MA in cinema and media studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Jane’a’s research interests include visual culture and violence, heritage ethics and media archives.
Kristin McWilliamsKristin McWilliams is a youth services librarian/assistant branch manager at Houston Public Library. She started in June 2017 after completing her MLS at Indiana University. While studying at Indiana University, she worked as co-coordinator of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center Library on campus, center supervisor with IU Residential Programs & Services Libraries, and as a public service assistant and reference blog editor at IU’s Herman B Wells Library. As a queer woman, she has a particular interest in LGBTQ+ materials and serving LGBTQ+ youth. Find her on Twitter @writteninblue.
Allyson MowerAllyson Mower, MA, MLIS is head of Scholarly Communication & Copyright at the University of Utah Marriott Library. She’s very curious about curiosity, what drives people to uncover information, and how libraries of all types create demand for knowledge. As a tenured faculty member, she researches the history of academic freedom — a kind of intellectual freedom — and the history of authorship and scholarly communication at the institution. She provides the U of U community and the general public with information, tools and services related to both copyright and publishing. Allyson was a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2008, was nominated as a 2012 Society for Scholarly Publishing Emerging Leader, and served as the U of U Academic Senate President in 2014. Find her on Twitter @allysonmower.
Eva Rios-AlvaradoEva Rios-Alvarado is your glocal librarian. Her empowerment, spirituality and beautiful resistance stem from Xicana Feminist practice and philosophy. Currently, she leads projects in equity and outreach as Student Equity & Outreach librarian at Mt. San Antonio College Library. With a BA in geography and MS in library information science, she serves community college students exploring and crafting their information literacy repertoires. Eva’s leadership, through Banned Books Week, allows students and faculty to explore, participate and interpret topics in intellectual freedom, freedom of speech and censorship. Find her on Twitter @EvaRiosAlvarado. #XicanMLIS #LAallDay #librarianOfColor #locLA
Lauren SalernoLauren Salerno works in youth services at the Ovitt Family Community Library. She is passionate about developing a new generation of creative thinkers and confident do-ers. Her process art program, Artopia, was listed in best practices for nurturing creativity in children by the Association for Library Service to Children. When Lauren is not making a mess at the library, she is a writer of speculative fiction and creative nonfiction. Her writing can be found in the Los Angeles Times, xoJane, MiTú and The Rattling Wall. She loves monsters, Star Wars and Pokemon GO. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a tiny dog. Find her on Twitter @ParanormaLauren.
Robert SarwarkRobert M. Sarwark is a librarian at the Art Institute of Atlanta and a 2018-2019 Visiting Fellow in Publishing History at Harvard University’s Houghton Library. He is originally from Chicago and enjoys dogs, pizza, and writing bios in the third person. Find him on Twitter @RobSarwark.
Rebecca Slocum has worked in education as a teacher and library consultant for the last five years and is a recent MLIS graduate student from the University of North Texas. She is interested in issues involving intellectual freedom, censorship and collection development in school libraries. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys reading, writing, running and roaming the world. Currently, she stays at home caring for her son and writes at her blog, The Dewey Decimator. Find her on Twitter @bcslocum.
Alex SupkoAlex Supko is a librarian for Baltimore (Md.) County Public Library. He is also a member of Maryland Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Panel. He believes passionately that everyone deserves open access to the internet, and that your personal privacy is important.
Tess WilsonTess Wilson is part of the Civic Information Services team at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where she connects patrons with tools for community conversation and civic change. She also contributes programming to the STEM initiatives and The Labs@CLP, a teen digital media space. Her writing can be found on the YALSA Blog and the Carnegie Library’s blog. In her spare time, she creates zines examining mental health concerns, volunteers with a local feminist makerspace, and tries to keep up with two dogs and a cat. She is a collector of anything from big dictionaries to small rocks, and her latest acquisitions were an MFA in creative writing of poetry from Chatham University and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. Find her on Twitter @tesskwg.

Intellectual Freedom Blog contributors are volunteers and their views and opinions are their own and do not always reflect the views or opinions of the Office for Intellectual Freedom or the American Library Association.