Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.
Deborah Caldwell-Stone is Director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Executive Director of the the Freedom to Read Foundation. She is a recovering attorney and former appellate litigator who works closely with librarians, library trustees and educators on a wide range of intellectual freedom and privacy issues, including book challenges, internet censorship, meeting room policies, and library users’ privacy and confidentiality. She has served on the faculty of the ALA-sponsored Lawyers for Libraries and Law for Librarians workshops and speaks frequently to librarians and library organizations around the country about intellectual freedom and privacy. She is a contributor to the 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual and has contributed articles on law, policy, and intellectual freedom to American Libraries and other publications.
Kristin Pekoll is the Assistant Director at the Office for Intellectual Freedom. She is a former YA librarian from Wisconsin and a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan who happens to live in Chicago Bears country. She is the author of Beyond Banned Books: Defending Intellectual Freedom throughout Your Library published by ALA Editions in 2019.
Ellie Diaz is the Program Officer at the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. With her journalism background and fierce devotion to the freedom to read, Ellie collaborates with experts on organizing ALA’s Banned Books Week and several other projects within OIF. As a biblio-writer, she enjoys exploring the intersection of advocacy and literature.
The Intellectual Freedom Blog’s purpose is to educate and encourage discussions about intellectual freedom principles, and promote the value of libraries, librarians, and professional membership in the American Library Association. All writers (including guest contributors) are required to consent to the policy and purpose of the Intellectual Freedom Blog.
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Tayla Cardillo is the Branch Librarian of the Oak Lawn Branch Library in Cranston, RI. Before her current position she was a YA librarian. She completed her MLIS at the University of Rhode Island and her B.A. in English at Rhode Island College. Tayla has known that she wanted to be a librarian since she was 17 years old. When not doing library wizardry, she enjoys playing tabletop games and cosplaying.
Gretchen Kaser Corsillo is the Director of Rutherford (NJ) Public Library and has worked in public libraries in a variety of capacities since 2003. In 2013, she received her Master’s of Library & Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and she also holds a B.A. in Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Political Science. Prior to working as a professional librarian, she worked in the marketing and legal fields; the latter, combined with her interest in writing, has made her a strong advocate for intellectual freedom.
Before joining Lynn University as an outreach librarian, Sabine was a teacher and librarian at YOUmedia Miami, a media technology program at the Miami-Dade Public Library System for teens and before that was a content specialist in programming and production with WPBT-TV South Florida PBS in Miami. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at Lynn University’s College of Communication and Design, and is one of the primary faculty advisors for the student newspaper, iPulse. As an outreach librarian at the Lynn Library, her research specialties and liaison area are to the Communication and Education students. Sabine is writing her first book on empathy-based library marketing and communications and how to be equitable and inclusive in libraries with ALA-ACRL. Her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and Master’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism are from Clarion University in Pennsylvania.
Holly Eberle is the Youth Technology Librarian at the Algonquin Area Public Library District in northern Illinois and a member of the Intellectual Freedom Committee. She received her MLIS from the University of Illinois in December 2015. Her passion for the intellectual freedom rights of youth began in kindergarten when her elementary school library pulled the Goosebumps series off the shelves. She also is interested in the technological realm of intellectual freedom and privacy issues.
Darryl Eschete was born in South Louisiana into a Cajun family, raised in the Bayou region of the state. His undergraduate degree is in journalism and has a deep and serious interest in First Amendment issues, including censorship, compelled speech, institutional neutrality and professional ethics. He has 20+ years of library work experience, including 10+ as a public library director.
Jamie M. Gregory is a National Board Certified Teacher in Library Media working as the Upper School Librarian and journalism/newspaper teacher at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC. She is the recipient of the 2021 Media Literacy Teacher Award from the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
Sarah Hartman-Caverly, MS(LIS), MSIS, is a reference and instruction librarian at Penn State Berks, where she liaises with Engineering, Business and Computing programs. Prior to her current appointment, Sarah was a reference and instruction librarian at a community college, and was an electronic resources manager and library system administrator in both community and small liberal arts college settings. Sarah’s research examines the compatibility of human and machine autonomy from the perspective of intellectual freedom. Recent contributions include “Version Control” (ACRL 2017), “Our ‘Special Obligation’: Library Assessment, Learning Analytics, and Intellectual Freedom” (ACRL 2018), and “Human Nature is Not a Machine: On Liberty, Attention Engineering, and Learning Analytics” (Library Trends, forthcoming). She earned her MS(LIS) and MSIS from Drexel University in 2011.
Jacqui Higgins-Dailey has been a public librarian for 10 years. After three years as adjunct faculty, she is currently a full-time residential faculty librarian at Glendale Community College in Arizona. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Chico and a masters in library science from the University of North Texas. She is passionate about information literacy instruction and loves to read, write, hike and travel.
Lisa Hoover is a public services librarian at Clarkson University and an adjunct professor in criminal justice at SUNY Canton. In addition to her MLS, Lisa holds a JD and an MA in political science. She began her career as an editor and then manager for a local news organization, adjunct teaching in her “spare time.” She teaches courses in criminal procedure, criminal law and constitutional law. She is passionate about First Amendment issues. She recently began her career as a librarian, starting at Clarkson University in June 2017, teaching information literacy sessions and offering reference services. Lisa and her husband Lee live in Norwood, New York, with their cats Hercules and Pandora, and pug-mix Alexstrasza (Alex).
Michael Kirby is a Senior Children’s Librarian at the New York Public Library. A member of numerous committees (including NYPL”S Best Books for Children 2021), he enjoys catching up on the latest movies in his free time!
Helen Lutke is an Electronic Resources at the Santa Clara County Library system. She holds a Masters in Library Science from San Jose State University. Helen’s work focuses on creative applications of technology within the LIS community. In addition, she enjoys the graphic novel medium and advocates for their place in libraries with her position as Advocacy Chair for the CLA Graphic Novel & Comics Interest Group. Helen has a deep and lifelong love of manga, enjoys playing video games, baking and playing with her cat named Cricket.
Samantha Mairson is a children’s librarian at the Rye Free Reading Room in New York. She is a staunch intellectual freedom fighter. Previously she worked for EveryLibrary, the first national political action committee for libraries. Samantha is a graduate of the Syracuse University MLIS program with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Information Security Management, and the University of Connecticut where she studied Digital Media Design and Spanish. She once walked from North Carolina to Connecticut, and dreams of building a tiny home. She currently resides in New York City with her husband, sister-in-law, newborn baby, and the family dog, Rocky!
Lisa M. Rand is a youth services librarian in southeastern Pennsylvania. She exercises her commitment to equity and access for everyone by serving on the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Pennsylvania Library Association. Lisa has studied at Simmons University and Kent State University. Whenever possible she travels, visiting libraries and walking in the footsteps of favorite fictional characters.
Rebecca holds an MLIS from the University of North Texas and is a former teacher and school library consultant. Though not currently working in a library, she continues to fight against censorship and advocate for intellectual freedom rights, especially for children’s literature. When she’s not wrangling her two children, Rebecca enjoys reading, running, writing, and roaming the world.
David Sye is a Research and Instruction Librarian at Murray State University in southwestern Kentucky. He is liaison for the History, Political Science & Sociology, and Psychology departments, as well as teaching instruction sessions and credit-bearing courses on information literacy. He holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Springfield, in addition to an MA in History and MLIS from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Prior to working at Murray State University, he has worked in public libraries and briefly taught middle school social studies.
Eric Stroshane is the Library Services Manager at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood location. He is a past-president of the Mountain Plains Library Association and served on both the Intellectual Freedom Round Table’s Privacy Subcommittee and North Dakota Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. He holds an MLS from Indiana University Bloomington, an MA in English from the University at Buffalo, and a BA in English from Pennsylvania State University. In his life beyond library walls, Eric is an electronic musician, mountain biker, kayaker, hiker, dog-lover, and yogi.