Overview of Intellectual Freedom Programs and Events at ALA Annual Conference

Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE), Freedom to Read Foundation, General Interest, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Intellectual Freedom Round Table, LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund, Midwinter Meeting/Annual Conference, Office for Intellectual Freedom

This month is the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans! From June 23-28, thousands of librarians and library lovers will be attending meetings and programs, parties and book signings, and touring the exhibition floor, all in the backdrop of one of this country’s most amazing (and resilient) cities! Of course, the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be very busy during this time. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be using this blog to let you know about our great events.

We start today with a snapshot of some of what’s in store:


1:00-5:00 p.m.

FREE Preconference: Privacy Conversation Deliberative Forum And Moderator Training

Participants will learn how to convene and moderate a deliberative dialogue so they can host their own local forums that explore privacy values and concerns. Registration in advance encouraged; email Bryan Campbell. Walk-in registration accepted.

New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Avenue

5:00—6:30 p.m. Due to a lack of registrations, the Privacy preconference has been canceled.

Freedom to Read Foundation Member Reception

Mingle with FTRF members, trustees, and staff, and meet the new Conable Conference Scholarship recipient!

Morial Convention Center, Room 353



1:00—2:00 p.m

“Intellectual Freedom 101”

At this one-hour fast-paced session you will meet some of the leaders of the various intellectual freedom groups, get all the details on the IF programs planned for this conference and upcoming events, and find out how you can get involved in the intellectual freedom workings of the Association.

Morial Convention Center, Room 243



11:30—1:00 p.m.

IFRT’s John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award recipient reception

Please join us in congratulating Mike Blasenstein and Mike Iacovone, the recipients of the Immroth Award.

Marriott CC-Blaine Kern B


1:30—3:30 p.m.

“New Technologies: The Impact on Government Transparency”

Intellectual Freedom Round Table program. Rick Falkvinge, founder of Sweden’s Pirate Party, will speak about how the evolution of information-sharing tools have impacted government transparency.  Moderator: Loida Garci-Febo, chair, IFRT

Morial Convention Center, Room 288 thru 290



1:30—3:30 p.m.

“Promoting Ethical Literacy in Youth: How Librarians Can Partner with Parents and Teachers”

ALA’s Committee on Professional Ethics hosts the third program in its “Ethics in a Digital World” series, with distinguished speakers discussing ways in which librarians, parents, and teachers can work together to promote ethics to young people.

Morial Convention Center, Room 243


4:00—5:30 p.m.

IFC/FTRF Issues Briefing Session

The issues briefing session of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and Freedom to Read Foundation explores hot issues including a discussion on the draft resolution on Self-Serve Holds.

Morial Convention Center, Room 354


7:30—10:00 p.m.

“Joint Merritt Fund / NMRT Awards Reception”

The New Members Round Table and the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund are joining forces for a reception at Annual Conference. NMRT will recognize recipients of the 3M Professional Development Grant and the Shirley Olofson Award, and attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the important work of the Merritt Fund. Free admission, refreshments provided! (Beer & wine is $10, all-you-can-drink.)

L‘entreport Gallery, 527 Julia St. (Gallery District)



10:30 a.m.—12:00 noon

“When it Leaks it Pours: WikiLeaks, National Declassification System, and Access to Government Information”

We will discuss the state of classification system and librarians’ role as defenders of access to information.  Speaker: Tom Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Co-sponsored by the ALA Committee on Legislation.

Hotel Monteleone-Queen Anne Ball Room


1:30—3:30 p.m.

“Whose Common Sense? How Labeling Systems Hurt Young Readers”

A basic tenet of ALA’s intellectual freedom and ethics policies has been the right of young people to read a wide variety of works of their own choosing–with appropriate support from parents and librarians. Librarians and parents need to be aware that while these labeling tools may be convenient, they can become tools for the censor.  Speakers: Christine Jenkins, David Levithan, Jeffrey Nadel, Michael Norris. Co-sponsored by the Association of American Publishers.

Morial Convention Center, Room 393-394


Stay tuned to the OIF Blog for more information about what’s in store at Conference!  We hope to see you there!