The Iowa Library Association asserts that a democracy will only flourish if its citizens have free access to information necessary to form solid opinions and to make informed decisions on issues affecting their lives. Thus, the ILA supports the principles of open access to such information no matter the medium in which it exists and without regard for the economic, political, and social conditions of those who seek such access.
Those statements made by the ILA are the focus of the work of the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Iowa Library Association. Our committee of eight meets in November to plan activities for the coming year and to look for sessions to offer at the next ILA conference. The main activity of our committee is to be a resource for any library facing a challenge. We make sure to have representation on the committee from various types of libraries so we can give advice from the perspective of that type of library. Our state website has various Intellectual Freedom links and contains the Iowa Intellectual Freedom Resource Guide which was updated in 2008.
While members of our organization understand the impact of Intellectual Freedom, many of the practicing library directors and Boards of Trustees in Iowa do not understand it is their responsibility to ensure Iowans everywhere have the right of open access, no matter the size of their town or the political/religious slant of their community. To this end, the IFC of Iowa has developed an educational presentation [ed. note: available for viewing on SlideShare] we’ve been sharing across the state at conferences, training sessions and webinars to anyone who will listen. We sponsor at least two sessions yearly at the Iowa Library Association conference. This year’s featured speaker will discuss Online Bullying and how to promote awareness in your community.
Intellectual Freedom Chair
Iowa Library Association