Register for Nov. 15 “Religion and Libraries” webinar!

Intellectual Freedom Issues, International issues

Article 19 of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Article 18 of the Declaration affirms that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion of belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Librarians and others in the U.S. and around the world have found that in practice, these two pillars have sometimes led to dilemmas, as users and stakeholders with competing values and interests have pressed their claims with libraries and other institutions.

In order to explore these issues, for the second session in our “Intellectual Freedom across the Globe” webinar series, OIF and IFLA FAIFE are excited to present “Religion, Free Expression, and Libraries.”   This one-hour discussion will cover a variety of intriguing issues — including blasphemy laws, collection development & donations to libraries, and library meeting rooms — and provide practical suggestions for policies.

Date: Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Time: 10:00 a.m. Central Standard Time, 1600 GMT

Cost: 30 USD – ALA members/members of IFLA institutional members; 35 USD – General attendees

Note:  There will be a small number of free spaces for participants who otherwise could not afford to participate. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Jonathan Kelley at  Archived recordings of all “Intellectual Freedom across the Globe” webinars will be available for sale one month after the live events.

For more information and to register, visit  For information about the webinar series, visit


Paul Sturges, OBE, is Professor Emeritus, Loughborough University and Professor Extraordinary, University of Pretoria.  He has traveled widely throughout the world, giving lectures and conference presentations, leading workshops on Intellectual Freedom topics, offering consultancy, and researching. His more than 150 articles, reports and books deal with a variety of issues in information science, with an emphasis on the developing world, and a strong specialization in ethics of information. Consultant to the Council of Europe on freedom of expression and public access points to networked information, and also on library legislation, 1997-2001. He held office as Chair of FAIFE from 2003-2009. 

Almuth Gastinger graduated from Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany, with a PhD in Informatics. Since 2000 she has been working as Senior Research Librarian at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.  Her main interests include international co-operation, network building and staff exchange, CPD, information literacy and subject librarian tasks.  Almuth is member of IFLA Information Literacy Section Standing Committee and IFLA National Organisations and International Relations SIG. Last year she was appointed Norway’s representative to NATO Information Management Committee.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone is Deputy Director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, where she works on initiatives promoting the defense of the First Amendment freedom to read and the application of constitutional law to library policies, principles, and problems.  An attorney by training, she now works closely with librarians, teachers, and library trustees on a wide range of intellectual freedom issues, including book challenges, Internet filtering, meeting room policies, and the impact of new technologies and the USA PATRIOT Act on library privacy and confidentiality.   She is on the faculty of the ALA-sponsored Lawyers for Libraries and Law for Librarians workshops and speaks frequently to library groups around the country.

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