Intellectual Freedom: Really Simple Library Stuff

Advocacy, Intellectual Freedom Issues

By: John Mack Freeman

Recently, I’ve had numerous conversations with colleagues about some intellectual freedom issues. One thing that has come up a few times is how to expose library staff who haven’t been through an MLIS program to intellectual freedom attributes. While this can be undertaken during new employee orientation, this isn’t done in every library system, and the application of these ideals in the moment on the floor of a library can be tricky. These conversations ultimately centered on the idea that while intellectual freedom issues can quickly become complex and nuanced, introduction to the ideals doesn’t necessarily have to be. A simpler introduction may stick easier than an overly complicated one.

I’ve also been working this year to help revive the Georgia Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Interest Group. Maybe these recent conversations about making intellectual freedom issues punchier and easier to remember had inspired me, but I put together a series of posters that were united around a simple layout with a focus on simply putting the issues of concern in contemporary IF debates front and center .

I got some feedback from some colleagues about how posters don’t always travel well from conferences and that maybe we should look at other swag opportunities for our group; I’m inclined to agree. But I think the draft designs turned out pretty well, and I still like the concept, so I wanted to share them with all of you. Please feel free to use them if you like, and if you would like editable versions of the files, I can send along instructions for that as well.

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mackJohn “Mack” Freeman is the marketing and programming coordinator for the West Georgia Regional Library. He is a past recipient of the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Conable Scholarship, and he was a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader. He currently co-chairs the GLBTRT’s Stonewall Book Award Committee and is the 2nd vice president/membership chair of the Georgia Library Association. He is interested in privacy, self-censorship, new frontiers of IF, and services to under-served communities. You can find out more about him at When not in library world, he enjoys walking Micah, the laziest blueheeler in the world, going on adventures with his husband Dale, and cooking Italian food from unintentionally snobby mid-century cookbooks. Find him on Twitter @johnmackfreeman.


  • I’d love the posters to use in my library community, but I can’t download them. Is it possible to access them as PDFs?

    Thank you!

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