IFRT Member Spotlight – Katie Chamberlain

Intellectual Freedom Round Table

Katie Chamberlain, J.D., M.S.L.I.S, is adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences, where she serves on the Diversity Committee and has won awards for teaching excellence. Katie teaches graduate courses on information policy, information ethics, and libraries and society. Her research and publications focus on privacy, free speech, and copyright. For the Journal of Information Ethics, Katie authored a forthcoming article on aligning free speech with the social justice imperative and is the guest editor of a special issue on social justice.

Katie is longtime advocate of intellectual freedom and privacy. She received the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Library Association in 2016 and served on the Freedom to Read Foundation Board of Trustees from 2017 to 2019, chairing the Conable Scholarship Committee. She was also a research associate at the Center for Information Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she worked on an interdisciplinary research team with colleagues in the Netherlands.

Katie is licensed to practice law in Vermont and Illinois and is a registered yoga teacher. When she’s not reading or studying French and German, she enjoys walking her miniature dachshund, Charlie Brown, baking Greek cookies with her spouse, and blogging at katiekritikos.com.

Katie Chamberlain
Katie Chamberlain

1. What made you want to be a part of the IFRT?

As a longstanding member of the American Library Association and affiliate of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, joining IFRT was a natural choice. I enjoy staying up-to-date on intellectual freedom issues, connecting and dialoguing with fellow IF supporters, and engaging in the IF community.

2. What is your favorite part about being involved in IFRT?

I love hearing about what banned books and materials other members are reading and promoting at their libraries. It’s how I learned about the graphic novel Drama by Raina Telgemeier, which I immediately devoured.

3. Have you joined any IFRT programs recently?  What was your favorite?

I enjoyed the Frosty Windows, Frosty Mirrors: Representation, Labeling, Discoverability, and the Chilling Effect event. Working on finding and creating connections between social justice and free speech is one of my professional and personal priorities. I advocate reframing the “chill” between social justice and free speech and focusing on opportunities and affordances in my article, “From neutrality to justice: Aligning free speech with the social justice imperative,” forthcoming in the Journal of Information Ethics (Spring 2022). I’m also looking forward to attending my first virtual happy hour, one of the fun new activities thanks to the pandemic.

Harry Potter, the complete series, CREDIT: KAZU KIBUISHI/SCHOLASTIC

4. If you could meet your favorite banned book character, who would you meet and why?

I would love to meet Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. I very much identify with her as a scholar and activist, and wonder what her childhood in England was like before she learned she was a witch and attended Hogwarts. I also wonder what she does for a career; is she a teacher, Minister of Magic, writer? I want to take a long walk on the English moors followed by a cream tea by a cozy fireplace and just talk about life with her.

And while you are here, why don’t you look at recent IFRT members featured in the IFRT Member Spotlight. 

Composed by the Intellectual Freedom Round Table Publications and Communications Committee. Follow us on Twitter @IFRT_ALA.

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