The Future of Intellectual Freedom: IFLA, FAIFE Seek Comment, Article Proposals

Intellectual Freedom Issues, International issues, Professional Ethics

What is the future of intellectual freedom?

To commemorate Human Rights Day, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and its Freedom of Access to Information and Free Expression (FAIFE) Advisory Committee released a survey and call for abstracts to reexamine the 21-year-old IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom and its place in library practice.

Survey deadline: January 15th

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Survey respondents can share thoughts on current intellectual freedom trends and the key social, political, technological, economic, or other developments impacting intellectual freedom in the two decades since the adoption of the Statement

Respondents can also disclose how these trends and impacts have affected policies and operations at their own libraries. Finally, survey respondents have the opportunity to suggest revisions to the IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom. The survey is accepting responses through January 15th. 

Abstract deadline: March 1st

IFLA Journal and IFLA-FAIFE issued a call for abstracts for “new and original research, case studies, and essays that will a) examine the impact that the Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom has had on the library profession over the past twenty years, and/or b) examine the impact of the past twenty years on the Statement.”

Guest editors Stuart Hamilton, PhD and Barbara Jones provide topics of interest, including:

  • Professional practice (LIS education, collection development, the relationship between personal beliefs and professional responsibility, library space and events)
  • Defense of freedom of expression (activism, capacity to defend freedom of expression)
  • Impact of the statement on the profession (national contexts, examples of libraries defending intellectual freedom)
  • Information environment (disinformation, fake news; algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence; privacy, anonymity, and the right to be forgotten)
  • The impact of political developments (UN declarations and positions, climate change, populism)

More information about topics and article formats is available on the IFLA Journal special issue call for abstracts page.

Abstract submissions are due March 1st and should comply with IFLA’s manuscript submission guidelines. Abstracts can be submitted via IFLA’s manuscript submission portal on ScholarOne. Authors will receive notification by March 15th, with complete manuscripts due June 1st. Invited articles will undergo full peer review. The intellectual freedom issue of IFLA Journal is anticipated to be published in late 2021.

The future of intellectual freedom is ours to decide. Share your views in IFLA-FAIFE’s survey by January 15th, and develop your ideas further with an article abstract due March 1st.

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