IFC/FTRF Issues Briefing Tackles Meeting Rooms, Internet Filtering, and Organized Challenges

Freedom to Read Foundation, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Intellectual Freedom Issues, Midwinter Meeting/Annual Conference

The IFC/FTRF Issues Briefing at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference features two speakers who will spotlight cutting edge intellectual freedom issues that are raising questions and concerns for libraries today.

Theresa Chmara, general counsel for the Freedom to Read Foundation and a faculty member for ALA’s acclaimed Lawyers for Libraries and Law for Librarians programs, will review two recent library-related court decisions. The first case, Bradburn et al. v. North Central Regional Library District, upheld one library’s restrictive filtering policy; while the second lawsuit, Faith Center Church Evangelistic Ministries v. Glover, struck down a library’s prohibition on religious worship in its meeting rooms. Chmara will explain the legal reasoning behind both decisions, answer questions about their potential impact on libraries, and offer guidance on developing library policies for meeting rooms and Internet filtering. She will also discuss the recent Alliance Defense Fund campaign targeting libraries whose meeting room policies limit or restrict religious activities in the library.

Chmara will be joined by Dee Venuto, Media Center Coordinator at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mt. Holly, NJ, who will discuss a local Glenn Beck 912 chapter’s ongoing campaign to remove several gay-themed books from her high school and other local high schools and public libraries in New Jersey. She will review her experience managing the challenge and the decision by her school board to remove Revolutionary Voices, one of the challenged books. Venuto will also offer her perspectives on organized book banning campaigns.

Time will be set aside for a lengthy question and answer session with both speakers.

The IFC/FTRF Issues Briefing will take place Sunday, June 27, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Washington Convention Center, Room 204 B/C.