Prioritizing Intellectual Freedom & Privacy: Your Itinerary for ALA Annual 2023

American Library Association, Censorship, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Intellectual Freedom Issues, Libraries and Data, Library Vendors and Privacy, Office for Intellectual Freedom, Privacy Education, Programming, Surveillance

Compiled by the IFC Privacy Subcommittee

Whether you’re a seasoned advocate or new to ALA Annual, we encourage you to prioritize the many events focusing on intellectual freedom and library privacy! In an era marked by rising censorship and attempts to limit intellectual freedom, it’s more crucial than ever for library workers to champion these fundamental principles of a healthy democracy.

How can you prioritize your schedule?

We understand that there is so much to see and do at ALA Annual, so the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee has created an itinerary for you for each day. The itinerary is filled with thought-provoking sessions, engaging workshops, and insightful discussions.

From combating challenges to promoting diverse collections and facilitating conversations around data privacy, these sessions will empower you with the knowledge and skills needed to safeguard the freedom to read and access information. Oh, there’s a baseball game sprinkled in there, too!

Who should use this Itinerary?

This itinerary is a valuable resource for library workers who want to defend intellectual freedom, privacy, and equitable access to information. Whether you’re a library worker, educator, administrator, advocate, or vendor, this guide is for you. Be prepared to be inspired, challenged, and equipped with the tools you need to create inclusive, free, and open library environments for all.

By the way, did you know you can attend all of the committee meetings on this list, even if you aren’t on the committee? Please join these meetings. You are welcome. You are invited. We want to meet you there!

The Itinerary

This itinerary is set up into tables and separated by each day. Each table includes the basics: event title, time, and location. However, we’ve also added a brief reason for you to attend each event.

Please note that the schedule is subject to change, and for the most up-to-date information, we encourage you to visit the conference’s scheduler website.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

EventTimeLocationWhy You Should Attend
A Rally for the Right to Read Featuring Dr. Ibram X. Kendi6:00 – 9:00 PM CTHilton Chicago, Grand BallroomHonor the courage and resilience of America’s librarians and their work to protect the freedom to read! Be inspired by remarkable keynote speaker and acclaimed author Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, the 2023 intellectual freedom award recipients, and a panel discussion with library advocates Becky Calzada, Jamie Gregory, and Leila Green Little.

The Intellectual Freedom Awards include the FTRF Roll of Honor Award, Eli M. Oboler Award, Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award, and John Phillip Immroth Award.

Friday, June 23, 2023

EventTimeLocationWhy You Should Attend
Library and Vendor Privacy Community of Practice2:30 – 3:30 PM CTHyatt Regency McCormick, Grant Park CDConnect and collaborate with vendors and library privacy advocates.
Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) Meeting #11:00 – 2:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W475aThe charge of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) is to recommend policies for libraries and librarians, in accordance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Library Bill of Rights as adopted by the ALA Council. See ala.org/aboutala/committees/ala/ala-if for more information. Guests are welcome.
Banned Books from the Big Chair5:30 – 7:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, Grand ConcourseSage, Banned Books Week, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Unite Against Book Bans are teaming up to make the Banned Books Read-Out booth even bigger – with a very big chair! The chair will be available for photos during Exhibits opening. Anyone who wants to record a video is encouraged to come by the booth on Saturday or Sunday.
Red Sox vs White Sox – ALA7:10 – 10:00 PMGuaranteed Rate Field, 333 W 35th St. ChicagoAmerican Library Association Fundraiser Night with the White Sox! Specially priced tickets to all ALA members, conference attendees, their families, and friends. A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to the Merritt Fund. Stay after the game for Chicago White Sox signature fireworks show (weather permitting)!

Saturday, June 24, 2023

EventTimeLocationWhy You Should Attend
Right To Read A Thon Banned & Challenged Books!8:30 AM – 3:00 PM CTHilton Chicago, Continental COrganized by LiteracyNation, participants will read banned books for 6 hours in this fundraiser to help librarians as they face adverse conditions at work. Supports the Merritt Fund.
Banned Books from the Big Chair9:00 AM – 5:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, Grand ConcourseSage, Banned Books Week, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Unite Against Book Bans are teaming up to make the Banned Books Read-Out booth even bigger – with a very big chair! Anyone who wants to record a video is encouraged to come by the booth on Saturday or Sunday.
Be Fierce: How to Harness Your Power for Your Libraries9:00 – 10:00 AM CTMcCormick Place, W187aHear first-person accounts of overcoming obstacles to successfully advocate for their libraries, confidently counter book challenges, strategically develop relationships to counter censorship attempts. 
News You Can Use—Changing the Narrative: ALA Policy Corps Takes On Book Banners9:00 – 10:00 AM CTMcCormick Place, W180Learn successful strategies for engaging legislators across the political spectrum, getting your message out through media, mobilizing supporters, and strengthening relationships with key stakeholders to sustain library services and values. 
President’s Program (AASL) – Freedom to Read Ambassadors10:00 – 11:30 AM CTMcCormick Place, W196aJoin AASL President, Kathy Lester, for a conversation about speaking out for the Freedom to Read and why it is important for all students to have access to a wide variety of books and information. Panelists Kelly Yang, author of Front Desk and Finally Seen; Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, educator, author, and adapter of Stamped for Kids; Amanda Jones, winner of AASL’s Intellectual Freedom Award; and Becky Calzada, co-founder of the #Freadom group will discuss their work and encourage everyone to become ambassadors in the efforts to protect First Amendment rights for all.
Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) Meeting10:30 – 11:30 AM CTMarriott Marquis, PhilosophyMeeting of ALA’s Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE). Guests are welcome.
Get Ready, Stay Ready: Supporting Proactive Community Advocacy for Library Professionals11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W185aExplore the Get Ready Stay Ready toolkit (https://www.getreadystayready.info), a collection of resources that intentionally focus on educating trustees, friends of the library groups, foundation members, community members, and caregivers on the power of inclusive library collections and programming.
Reconsideration Committee: Strengthening our Response to Customer Challenges11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W185bcLearn about developing a reconsideration process, training for staff and other stakeholders to assist in the reconsideration process, and talking to library staff and stakeholders about the importance of the reconsideration process for their library and community
News You Can Use—Books Under Fire: Law and the Right to Read, 20231:00 PM – 2:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W180Learn about the various types of adverse legislation, understand how these laws infringe on library users’ rights, and what steps can be taken through the courts and through advocacy to preserve the right to read.
SOS: Stock Our Shelves (with challenged and banned books!)2:30 PM – 3:30 PM CTMcCormick Place, W187bConnect with colleagues through storytelling, hear about others’ struggles and speak the truth about your own, and wade together through the controversy in order to find common ground and even compromise, if that is what it takes to come closer to restocking our shelves with material for EVERY kind of reader.
Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) Privacy Subcommittee Meeting2:30 PM – 3:30 PM CTMcCormick Place, W177We hope you join us at this meeting! You are welcome. You are invited. We hope to meet you there! We will take time to discuss current and emerging library privacy issues with you.
Censorship and Diversity: How Do Librarians Continue to Protect the Rights of Marginalized Communities Amid Targeted Book Challenges?2:30 PM – 3:30 PM CTMcCormick Place, W181aThis session will discuss the recent uptick in censorship challenges that have been taking place across the nation. Moderated by Dr. Andrea Jamison, four panelists will discuss how librarians can continue advocating for diverse books and preserve the First Amendment Rights of those communities targeted by censors. EMIERT’s Chairs program will provide attendees with critical information to help further multiculturalism in librarianship. The event will also honor and acknowledge the 2023 recipient of the Distinguished Librarian Award, Evelyn Yee.
We Need Diverse Books and ALA Present: How to Fight Book Bans: Authors On Speaking Up and Fighting Back2:30 PM – 4:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W183aWNDB founding member and CEO Ellen Oh will moderate a panel of authors and present concrete ideas for how to respond to censorship attempts in the classroom. Panelists will present strategies and resources to help teachers, administrators, and caregivers respond to concerned parents who bring such challenges. 
News You Can Use—Fighting Censorship in a Changing Landscape4:00 PM – 5:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W180The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom staff will discuss ways librarians throughout the country can address the most current wave of challenges in our schools and public libraries.
Downs Award Reception4:00 PM – 5:30 PM CTHyatt Regency McCormick, DuSable ABDowns Intellectual Freedom Award Reception – Co-Sponsored by the University of Illinois iSchool and Sage Publishing. All Supporters of Intellectual Freedom are welcome to attend.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

EventTimeLocationWhy You Should Attend
Banned Books from the Big Chair9:00 AM – 5:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, Grand ConcourseSage, Banned Books Week, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Unite Against Book Bans are teaming up to make the Banned Books Read-Out booth even bigger – with a very big chair! Anyone who wants to record a video is encouraged to come by the booth on Saturday or Sunday.
Facilitating Conversations Around Data Privacy: A New Toolkit For Library Workers and Their Patrons9:00 AM – 10:00 AM CTMcCormick Place, W176cIn this session, project lead Davis Erin Anderson, Program Manager at METRO will share resources and tools from a newly redesigned state-of-the-art toolkit that library workers can use to provide training and support to their patrons with resources on data privacy. 
News You Can Use—Beyond the Middle School Rainbow: Intersectionality in LGBTQIA+ Middle Grade Books9:00 AM – 10:00 AM CTMcCormick Place, W180Join authors and experts in discussing the importance of diverse LGBTQIA+ characters in middle-grade fiction. Gain insights into navigating censorship attempts and promoting inclusivity in the current climate.
Protecting the Freedom to Access Reproductive Health Information9:00 AM – 10:00 AM CTMcCormick Place, W185bcMany states have drafted and enacted laws to prevent accessing information about abortion and other reproductive health care. Learn how these laws turn libraries into targets, what legal protections are available for libraries and library workers, and proactive steps libraries can take to protect the privacy and intellectual freedom of their patrons.
News You Can Use—Abortion Access – It’s an Information Issue11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W18This session will explore the impact of the recent Supreme Court decision repealing Roe v. Wade, discuss the current state of abortion, introduce the Reproductive Justice framework, and explore how this relates to information access in libraries. 
How to Navigate Book Challenges in the Teen Services Space11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W194aGet tips about how to navigate book challenges in the teen services space from a panel of teen service librarians who have experienced book challenges first-hand and who can offer resources and advice about how others can find support and assistance against community push-back and censorship attempts. 
United for Libraries President’s Program: Emily Amick (Emily in Your Phone)11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W184bGain insights from Emily Amick on the current state of play for library supporters and staff, as well as the political climate, to review where we are today, including the narrative game and disinformation, which groups are active and rallying people to this issue, and where these interactions are playing out online. 
Federated Authentication: Does Enhancing User Experience Mean Libraries Need to Sacrifice Privacy?1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W176abThis session will introduce practical, real-life applications for Federated Authentication, and outline specific actions libraries can take to protect patron privacy. Library and Vendor panelists will share recommendations, best practices and tools available to ensure successful access and privacy in the evolving web environment.
Make the Most of Banned Books Week1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W194aBanned Books Week 2023 will mark its 41st year October 1-7. Learn about the 2023 Banned Books Week theme and resources, ways you can use Banned Books Week to engage your community, and strategies for convincing even the most reluctant to participate in the annual event!
Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) Meeting1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, W475aA meeting of the officers, directors-at-large, committee chairs, and members of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT). The IFRT Executive Committee provides oversight of round table business and planning. It carries out the formal decisions of membership and approves the annual round table budget. It makes recommendations and reports to membership through round table communication channels. Everyone is welcome. Learn more at ala.org/ifrt.
News You Can Use—Activating Community Support with Unite Against Book Bans2:30 PM – 3:30 PM CTMcCormick Place, W179aleaders from the Unite Against Book Bans initiative will draw from real-world scenarios to discuss community organizing in support of libraries and ways in which librarians can engage and coordinate with members of their community and the library ecosystem to fight censorship.
Resisting Book Bans: A Proactive Approach to Critical Inclusivity of Coretta Scott King Book Award Winning titles in Library Collections2:30 PM – 3:30 PM CTMcCormick Place, W179bThis session will ask (and answer) the question, “How are library professionals (school, academic, and public) prepared to resist book bans in communities they serve?” Participants will be provided with a roadmap to resources in the preparation of their patrons (and community members) on a journey to become critical thinkers in a global society which embraces facts, diversity, equity and inclusivity.
Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) Meeting #22:30 PM – 3:30 PM CTMcCormick Place, W475aThe charge of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) is to recommend policies for libraries and librarians, in accordance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Library Bill of Rights as adopted by the ALA Council. See ala.org/aboutala/committees/ala/ala-if for more information. Guests are welcome.

Monday, June 26, 2023

EventTimeLocationWhy You Should Attend
Banned Books from the Big Chair9:00 AM – 2:00 PM CTMcCormick Place, Grand ConcourseSage, Banned Books Week, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Unite Against Book Bans are teaming up to make the Banned Books Read-Out booth even bigger – with a very big chair! The chair will be open for photo opportunities on Monday. Anyone who wants to record a video is encouraged to come by the booth on Saturday or Sunday.
Is Your Library Challenge Ready?9:00 AM – 10:00 AM CTMcCormick Place, W183aAttendees implementing the strategies presented in this session will have the opportunity to reduce uncertainty and stress when a challenge is launched. Learn how librarians and community partners with various levels of expertise and abilities can produce assertive rather than reactive responses, thereby preventing library teams from facing internal as well as external strife.

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