Intellectual Freedom and Ethics programs at 2008 ALA Annual Conference

Midwinter Meeting/Annual Conference

For those attending this month’s ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, we hope you’ll be able to attend some or all of these exciting programs!

IF 101
Friday, June 27
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

304 A/B, Anaheim Convention Center

Perfect for new ALA members, new conference attendees, and new Intellectual Freedom fanatics, this session – part of ALA’s “Conference 101” series of programs – will discuss the history and ongoing work of OIF, IFC, IFRT, FTRF, the Merritt Fund, and more! Curious to know what those acronyms mean? Want to get more involved in this critical aspect of librarianship? This is the session for you!

Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property
Saturday, June 28
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

304 A/B, Anaheim Convention Center
Sponsored by the Intellectual Freedom Round Table and the Intellectual Freedom Committee

This screening of Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property will be followed by a panel discussion about fair use and free speech with co-producers Kembrew McLeod and Jeremy Smith, and others. Based on McLeod’s award-winning book of the same title, Freedom of Expression® explores the battles being waged in courts, classrooms, museums, film studios, and the Internet over control of our cultural commons.

Politics of Differences: Cultural Sensitivities and Global Ethics for Libraries and Librarians

Saturday, June 28
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
204A Anaheim Convention Center
Sponsored by the Committee on Professional Ethics

How can we build a global ethical framework for the library and
information profession based a common ground of values while also respecting the diversity of historically and culturally based ethical values that provide the foundation for library and information services throughout the world? Dr. Nancy P. Zimmerman, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, The Graduate School, University of South Carolina will discuss the importance of ethics education, particularly to prepare librarians for global citizenship, awareness of the librarian’s role in the dissemination and preservation of cultures, and administration of global information justice; Dr. Sergio Chaparro, Assistant Professor, Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science and originally from Peru will discuss teaching globalization in library school, the Simmons College experience; and Dr. Johannes Britz, Professor and Dean, School of Information Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and originally from South Africa will discuss open access/open source and libraries as a matter of social justice with an emphasis on developing countries.

Privacy: Is it Time for a Revolution?

Sunday, June 29
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
201D, Anaheim Convention Center

Protecting reader privacy and confidentiality has long been an integral part of the mission of ALA and its members. Should it continue to be a priority? In an age when people increasingly use social networking to expose intimate life details, does privacy still matter to information seekers? Does anyone care if their library records and online searches are being tracked? If they don’t, why should they? A panel of thought leaders from the information economy including author Cory Doctorow, Wired senior writer Dan Roth, and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse director Beth Givens will debate the importance of privacy and what’s at stake if the persistent erosion of privacy continues unchecked. Join us for a provocative examination of a librarian’s role in the future of privacy.

IFC/FTRF Issues Briefing Session
Sunday, June 29

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
201 D, Anaheim Convention Center
Sponsored by the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Freedom to Read Foundation

The Intellectual Freedom Committee and Freedom to Read Foundation present this public meeting to update members on the status of IFC and FTRF activities, including updates on litigation in which the Freedom to Read Foundation is involved. Don’t miss this opportunity to get up-to-date details on the intellectual freedom work of the library community.

The briefing session will be followed by the FTRF Member Reception, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. next door in room 201 C. All FTRF members are invited to attend. Refreshments will be provided. To join the Freedom to Read Foundation, visit the FTRF website; you also can join at the door.

This Is Your Brain on DOPA
Monday, June 30
10:30 p.m. – Noon
304 A/B, Anaheim Convention Center
Sponsored by the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Committee on Legislation

As social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Second Life have exploded in popularity, efforts to restrict access to them have accelerated. Federal legislation, such as the Deleting Online Predators Act, would deny federal funds to libraries that allow minors to access social networking sites. Many states have considered similar legislation and state attorneys general have been particularly active on this issue. Even some libraries have attempted to restrict access to these sites.

Join us as our panel of experts discusses the legislation in question; academic research into minors, social networking sites, and online predators; and practical issues faced by librarians and library users.

Speakers include John Morris, General Counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology; Dr. Michele Ybarra, President of Internet Solutions for Kids; and Linda Braun, Project Management and Consulting Coordinator for LEO: Librarians & Educators Online. Moderated by Kent Oliver, IFC Chair.

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech You May Never Have Heard Of!

Monday, June 30
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
204 A, Anaheim Convention Center
Sponsored by the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Association of American Publishers

“Libel tourism” may not be a household phrase, but it may well represent one of the most serious threats we face as Americans to our First Amendment right to free expression and the free exchange of ideas. “Libel tourists” use their vast financial resources to bring libel lawsuits in foreign courts in order to intimidate and silence U.S. authors and publishers. Come and hear Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, who was sued in England by a Saudi billionaire who didn’t like what she wrote, and First Amendment lawyer Jonathan Bloom, who will discuss the broad free-speech implications of “libel tourism.”

Merritt Fund “Reception for a Cause”

Monday, June 30
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Vice Presidential Suite, 19th Floor, Anaheim Marriott

ALA President-Elect Jim Rettig and the Trustees of the Merritt Fund invite you to the Merritt Fund’s annual “Reception for a Cause,” in support of the work of the Fund. Suggested donation is $25. To RSVP, email or call Jonathan Kelley at (800) 545-2433 x4221. To donate to the Merritt Fund, visit the online donation form.

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