Category: Intellectual Freedom Round Table
Emerging Leaders Team at Work on IFRT Project
Four members of the 2023 ALA Emerging Leaders cohort are now at work on a research project for the Intellectual Freedom Round Table. The project team, made up of Maya Bergamasco, Paul McMonigle, Sarah Colbert and Rach Wells, recently sent a survey to the library associations of all 50 states. The goal is to use the information they gather to create a resource for librarians facing materials challenges.
IRFT Member Spotlight – Sam Jack
Sam Jack is the adult services librarian at Newton Public Library in Newton, Kansas – near Wichita. Sam received a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in poetry from the University of Montana, then spent several years working as a journalist before earning an MLS from Emporia State University. He is three years into his career as a librarian. He serves as a member of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table’s Publications and Communications Committee, and was part of the 2022 class of ALA Emerging Leaders. Outside of the library world, Sam enjoys writing poetry and singing opera and classical choral music.
IRFT Member Spotlight – Dorcas Hand
Dorcas Hand is a retired school librarian who faced a few materials challenges during her career, but none that reached the level of current events. She currently holds a seat on the board of the Freedom to Read Foundation and serves as the Retired Members Round Table liaison to the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy (COLA). Dorcas co-chairs the COLA Ecosystem Initiative Subcommittee and is the ALA Chapter Councilor for Texas.
Banned Books Take Over DC
At this year’s ALA conference, show some love for your favorite banned and challenged books by snapping a photo with one of IFRT’S banned book flyers.
IFRT Award Recipients of 2022
In a year in which challenges to books in school and public libraries have become organized and a sad feature of political campaigns, awards to those fighting for the right to read become all the more worth celebrating. The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) presents three awards recognizing the commitment and strength of two very deserving leaders in that fight.
Intellectual Freedom @ LibLearnX
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table, as well as the Office of Intellectual Freedom, are excited for the diverse slate of programs at LibLearnX. A registration link for the conference can be found here (please consider attending!), but the programs we’re most excited for, as you can imagine, deal directly with issues of intellectual freedom.
IFRT Member Spotlight – Jung Soo Bae
This month we would like to highlight IFRT Member and 2022 Emerging Leader Jung Soo Bae.
The Merritt Fund Promotional Toolkit
While book challenges are a perpetual issue within the library world, recent decisions by many school boards to remove supposedly “obscene” titles from their library collections with little justification seems to signal that this is a growing problem that won’t subside anytime soon. It’s with this increasing intolerance in mind—and the accompanying threats to the employment of library staff who might wish to defend intellectual freedom—that this toolkit for the Merritt Fund has been created.
Nominations open for 2022 IFRT Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award
Do you know of a state chapter or organization that has bravely defended the freedom to read or access to information; successfully promoted intellectual freedom issues; or demonstrated exemplary coalition-building efforts?
IFRT Member Spotlight – Pilar Martinez
This month we would like to highlight IFRT Member Pilar Martinez.