Panelists listen to William Shorter, Jr. during the “Challenges & Crises” live session for ALA annual 2021.

From Challenge to Recharge: Preparing Your Library Board to Uphold Intellectual Freedom

If your library were faced with an intellectual freedom challenge, would your board have your back? The United For Libraries President’s Program for ALA Annual Conference 2021, “Challenges & Crises: Preparing Your Board of Trustees,” delivered earned wisdom and practical tips to ensure your library board is willing and prepared to uphold intellectual freedom. Read on to learn how your library board can turn a library challenge into an opportunity for community recharge.

Intellectual Freedom Awards

The First Joint Intellectual Freedom Awards

For the first time, the Intellectual Freedom Awards were presented in a joint awards ceremony. The awards given are: Robert P. Downs Award, the Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award, the John Philip Immroth Award, and the Freedom to Read Foundation Honor Roll. Learn more about this past year’s intellectual freedom powerhouses here.

ALA Annual Conference 2021 logo.

Explore Intellectual Freedom in these #ALAAC21 Sessions!

The ALA Annual Conference offers numerous opportunities to explore and celebrate intellectual freedom. This post highlights fourteen intellectual freedom-themed conference sessions, including live panel discussions and on-demand sessions, the Intellectual Freedom Awards Celebration, and business meetings. As you plan your #ALAAC21 calendar, consider adding these sessions to your schedule!

Headshots of Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, Erec Smith, Coleman Hughes, Chloé Valdary, and Irshad Manji.

Antiracism, Revisited: Considerations for Antiracist Frameworks from BIPOC Thinkers

The Resolution to Condemn White Supremacy and Fascism as Antithetical to Library Work was adopted during ALA Midwinter 2021. The resolution calls on ALA to “commit to explicitly incorporating existing and developing antiracist and antifascist frameworks.” But are Ibram X. Kendi’s approach to antiracism and Robin DiAngelo’s concept of white fragility the only methods to inform ALA’s antiracist frameworks? Not if these BIPOC thinkers can help it.