Monday intellectual freedom meetings & programs @ #ALAAC14

Censorship, Freedom to Read Foundation, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Intellectual Freedom Issues, Midwinter Meeting/Annual Conference, Office for Intellectual Freedom, Privacy

Here’s your daily list of must-do events at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

Monday, June 30

Now Showing @ ALA: The Speaker…A Film About Freedom

When: 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N242
Who: Cinephiles, cinephobes, idealists & contrarians
Why me?: In advance of IFC’s Monday program, “Speaking about ‘The Speaker’,” we invite you to join us at a screening of the 42-minute 1977 film produced by the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The film proved highly controversial within the Association. This will be a chance for you to see it for yourself and participate in a moderated discussion. It is also available on YouTube. A pathfinder of resources on the film and attendant controversy is available

Intellectual Freedom Round Table II

When: 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N201
Who: IFRT members and the member-curious
Why me?: IFRT is the ALA member’s best avenue for getting involved in the intellectual freedom activities of the American Library Association. Find out about the committees, programs, and other projects of the Round Table and lend your two cents to the discussion of IF issues faced by librarians, our communities, and the Association.

Information Manipulation Part II: Surveillance

When: 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC-N243
Who: All are welcome.  (Note: we won’t take notes on who is there.) Sponsored by the Committee on Legislation
Why me?:  What does the collection and retention of bulk phone records and other personal information mean for the public and for our library users? Is personal information and Internet access being managed and manipulated by the government and/private companies? Featuring Thomas Susman, Esq., American Bar Association, Director of Government Affairs. A panel of respondents include George Christian, Executive Director of Library Connection and one of the Connecticut Four involved in the FBI/NASA challenge, Vivian R. Wynn, President of Wynn Library Consulting and Chair of the ALA Committee on Legislation and others to discuss the challenges and implications.

Speaking About “The Speaker”

When: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Where: LVCC-N253
Who: Everyone who is interested in learning more about and discussing the 1977 ALA IFC-produced film, the process by which it was made, the controversy that swirled around it, and what it means for us today and in the future.
Why me?: This is definitely the must-attend program of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. We strongly suggest you peruse the pathfinder of resources created for this program and the film.


When: 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: LVCC-N120
Who: Members of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, liaisons, and any member interested in participating in the final meeting of this committee of Council.
Why me?: This final meeting will feature discussions about Council resolutions and revisions to the interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights. A great way to spend a late Monday afternoon in Las Vegas!

One thought on “Monday intellectual freedom meetings & programs @ #ALAAC14

  • I was dubious about The Speaker program, but now I am glad I attended. I am, however, sad and sorry that the program was clearly painful for some of those who attended.

    1977 was my second ALA conference, the first after job hunting in 1972. I heard in advance that the film was controversial, but I also heard that it was intended for general audiences and I was expecting something along the line of an updated Storm Center. ( In that, I was disappointed. There was no way I could imagine showing this movie at the Glenville Library in Cleveland.

    The discussion following was full of surprises as people did not necessarily take the positions I expected of them, for example, my director Ernest Gaines. The comment that stayed with me was a woman who asked why only one speaker was invited – why weren’t both sides to be presented?

    And that leads me to an observation. I believe the culture of ALA has changed in one respect. Today, a project of equivalent magnitude would not be kept in the hands of a small subcommittee. It would be shared and critiqued and revised across the Association, much as Library Bill of Rights Interpretations are. I think we have learned the value of transparency and open discussion and consulting stakeholders before decision-making and ALA’s statements are the wiser for it.

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