Reminder! Intellectual Freedom Programs and Related Events at ALA Annual Conference

General Interest, Intellectual Freedom Issues, Midwinter Meeting/Annual Conference, Office for Intellectual Freedom

The ALA Annual Conference officially begins tomorrow, June 23, in New Orleans. We hope to see you there!

All of OIF’s conference programs, meetings, and events are listed under Initiatives & Projects on the OIF home page.  (Please note that the IFRT Preconference and “When it Leaks it Pours: WikiLeaks, National Declassification System, and Access to Government Information,” have been cancelled).  In addition, here are some other related programs of interest to intellectual freedom advocates:


Dan Savage at the Opening General Session

4:00 to 5:15 PM

DAN SAVAGE is the author of the syndicated column, “Savage Love,” and the Editorial Director of The Stranger, Seattle’s weekly newspaper. Last fall, Savage and his husband, Terry Miller spearheaded the “It Gets Better” campaign by downloading a video on YouTube after a rash of gay teen suicides: youths who took their own lives because of bullying. Six months later, has evolved into a nonprofit organization and a national movement, with over 10,000 videos and growing. President Barack Obama, The Salt Lake City Library, Free Philadelphia Public Library, politicians such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and celebrities like Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres are just a few videos that created videos.

The book IT GETS BETTER: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller was released in March. Dan Savage will sign copies of It Gets Better at the conclusion of the Opening General Session.

Saturday, June 25

10:30 am to noon

President’s Program: Prisoners Right to Read:  Balancing Intellectual Freedom and Correctional Security

Morial Convention Center, Room 285

Librarians serving the incarcerated and detained face a fundamental dichotomy: while the mission of the library is to ensure access to information, the mission of the facility is safety and security. Learn to use the new “Prisoners Right to Read: An Interpretation of The Library Bill of Rights” and positive communication to help correctional administrators craft improved policy that is interpreted consistently. Participate in a Q & A session with the panelists.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

SPEAKER SERIES-Siva Vaidhyanathan

Morial Convention Center-Auditorium B

Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies and Law at the University of Virginia, is the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System. In his newest book, The Googlization of Everything (and why we should worry), Siva Vaidhyanathan examines the ways we have used and embraced Google–and the growing resistance to its expansion across the globe.


6:00pm – 7:30pm

Now Showing @ ALA: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Film)

Morial Convention Center – Auditorium C

The full-length 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary. The film showing falls within the fortieth anniversary of the ten-day period during which Ellsberg and his wife simultaneously went into hiding and disseminated the Pentagon Papers to various publishers including the New York Times and the Washington Post. The Pentagon Papers played an enormous role in turning the tide of public opinion on the Vietnam War. It was the Nixon administration that dubbed Daniel Ellsberg The Most Dangerous Man in America. FREE. Panel discussion afterward, time permitting.


8:00am – 9:15am

SPEAKER SERIES – Daniel Ellsberg

Morial Convention Center – Auditorium B

*NOTE: The IFC/COL Joint meeting has been moved to 9:00 AM to allow for people to attend this program.

A Presentation by Daniel Ellsberg, the man the Nixon administration dubbed “The Most Dangerous Man in America.” Ellsberg is a former United States military analyst who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of US government decision-making about the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers. This is the fortieth anniversary of Ellsberg’s going into hiding to avoid arrest by the FBI while disseminating the Pentagon Papers to the major news media. Ellsberg also spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as rifle platoon leader, operations officer, and rifle company commander. A more detailed biography can be found at

1:30pm – 3:30pm

Technology and Ethics: Supporting Privacy and Free Expression in the Digital Age (ACRL)

Morial Convention Center – Rm 274

The digital age brings a myriad of ethical issues concerning privacy and free speech. Libraries providing access to computer terminals face difficult challenges: Conflicts arise between the need for confidentiality and security. Libraries are expected to provide a safe and appropriate environment for under-age patrons, while also respecting the right of adult citizens — particularly those without home Internet access — to communicate freely and access all online information that all Americans have the right to obtain., Co-sponsored by the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics.

4:00pm – 5:30pm

Where We Are, Where We Are Heading: The Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content Update

Loews – Louisiana BR

The EQUACC Task Force was created as the result of a Council Resolution to study challenges and recommend potential solutions in libraries for improved access to electronic content. At this program, members of the task force will provide insight and updates on the work of the group.  Panelists will represent the five areas on which the task force has focused its work: Environmental Scan, Licensing, Accessibility, Public Relations, and Model Projects.  Feedback and discussion from the audience is highly encouraged.


10:30am – 12:00pm

Government Information and Civic Engagement

Morial Convention Center – Rm 348

How does the intersection of electronic publishing of government information and the ephemeral nature of social media change collection development and preservation of these ‘documents’ in libraries?, , This program will explore the ideas of obligation and stewardship of government information in libraries. Specifically, how should libraries change roles as people change their civic roles? If people are civically engaged through Facebook, Twitter, et al., what is the library’s role in providing access? Whose responsibility is it to preserve the YouTube videos of presidential speeches or mayoral addresses? If these questions pique your interest, plan to attend this engaging panel discussion.


4:00pm – 5:30pm

Let’s Get Out: Empowering Youth Through Community-Focused New Media Projects

Morial Convention Center – Rm 286

This panel focuses on providing innovative outreach to under served populations and increasing youth interest in library services through creative, technology-supported programming.  This discussion will draw from lessons learned from implementing the Youth Community Informatics (YCI) project.  YCI youth participants developed digital media literacy skills, investigated community issues, created various kinds of media products, while cultivating critical awareness and learning how to work with others.  Panelists share the lessons and tips for librarians about the ways in which the boundaries of library and information science are expanding to engage communities and youth and to create positive social change (see