Julie Hornick is an instructional services librarian at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL, where she works with numerous departments as well as the Schools of Education and Nursing & Health Sciences. She came to FSC after 15 years in K-12 school libraries in South Carolina. She is the current Chair of the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee and is a member of the LIRT Conference Planning Committee, the Florida ACRL Board of Directors, and the Outreach Working Group of the Sunshine State Digital Network. In addition to baking, she enjoys playing pub trivia and board games with her husband and friends, going to in-person baseball games, movie theatres, and restaurants, and looks forward to being able to do all these things in the (hopefully) near future.
1. What made you want to be a part of the IFRT?
From my time at the University of South Carolina working on my M.L.I.S., issues of people’s right to freely read what they want and to access information have been important to me. Then, in my first year as a middle school librarian, my library faced a challenge to Meg Cabot’s Princess on the Brink. When the school’s committee voted to remove the book, I knew I had to become its champion, and I appealed the decision to our school board, which ultimately voted to retain the book. During the challenge, I became aware of the work the IFRT does to support librarians in these situations and, having seen first-hand how easily the freedom to read could be abridged, I understood the importance of that support. I wanted to become a member of IFRT so that I could be a part of an organization that works to keep this vital issue clearly visible; so that people who would dictate to others what they should and shouldn’t read, or what information should or shouldn’t be available to everyone, do not work unopposed.
2. What is your favorite part about being involved in IFRT?
My favorite part of being involved in IFRT is knowing that I am part of an organization that champions intellectual freedom, supports library workers and other purveyors of information on the front lines, and that is doing the work necessary to make progress towards real social justice.
3. Have you joined any IFRT programs recently? What was your favorite?
I really appreciated the stories and varied perspectives we were treated to in the recent IFRT’s Webinar: Frosty Windows, Frosty Mirrors: Representation, Labeling, Discoverability, and the Chilling Effect. Each of the panelists brought their own experiences and understandings, and I think it’s important to listen to all different viewpoints as the IFRT grapples with ongoing issues of true diversity, equity, and inclusion in the intersection between social justice and IF. I am also really looking forward to the upcoming (as of the time I write this) online all member gathering.
4. If you could meet your favorite banned book character, who would you meet and why?
It would be an honor to be able to meet Alia Muhammad Baker from The Librarian of Basra. She was the Chief Librarian of the Central Library in Basra, Iraq, who saved so much of her library’s collection before the library building was burned. It’s such a fascinating and heroic story. She clearly valued education, reading, and information, and I would love to be able to discuss where she found the incredible courage to do what she did and just to learn more about her, her life, and her culture.
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.