IFRT Intellectual Freedom Roundtable


The purpose of the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable is to provide a forum for the membership of NYLA in which to exchange information, develop special educational and informational programs, and provide support for the activities of NYLA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee in promoting freedom of acquisition, dissemination, and maintenance of library materials, services, and programsFrank McKenna, President

As stated in Article III of the Library Bill of Rights, “Libraries should challenge  censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”

Report Censorship: Defend the Public's Freedom

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom provides confidential support during censorship challenges to library materials, services, and programs. Anyone can report censorship, even if they do not require assistance. Report censorship by filling out this online form, or contacting OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll at 800-545-2433, ext. 4221, or via email: kpekoll@ala.org

Core Docuements that Support IF:

Updated ALA documents:

The three documents have been updated on the ALA website.

Special Topic: Data Privacy

Here is a page on the Santa Cruz library’s website addressing data privacy  https://www.santacruzpl.org/data_privacy/   It lists the privacy statements of the third party vendors: service overview, data protection and access controls, policies and standards; application security, compliance, security measures and which data are collected.

ALA IFC Seeking Library Community Feedback:

Education and Information Literacy Interpretation

The IFC would appreciate feedback on "Education and Information Literacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights" by Friday, March 1. The interpretation was adopted by ALA Council in 2009 with the title "The Importance of Education to Intellectual Freedom," and amended in 2014 with the title "Advocating for Intellectual Freedom." The original version was about how libraries provide education, and in doing so, facilitate intellectual freedom. The most recent version focused on how libraries educate people about intellectual freedom. After extensive conversations, the revision returns to the 2009 intent. The IFC and Committee on Professional Ethics are discussing the possibility of creating a joint policy statement or interpretation of ALA's Code of Ethics that focuses on the 2014 version's goal of promoting intellectual freedom in libraries.

Feedback can be posted in the following two ways:

  • Post feedback on this Google Doc draft. The IFC requests that you post comments on the document, rather than edit the document directly. To post a comment, select "Insert" in the top menu, and then click "Comment." Comments may be posted anonymously (if you're not signed into a Google account) or publicly (if you're signed into your Google account).
  • Using "track changes," add comments and edits to the attached Word doc draft. You can email it to me (glynnj@kenyon.edu) or post it as a comment to this ALA Connect post, and I'll forward it to working group members.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee will make revisions to the draft in light of your suggestions and plans to distribute the document to ALA Council prior to ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC. The committee also plans to present it at ALA Council Forum for further feedback.


Special Topic: Meeting Rooms

ALA OIF response to the new interpretation

Library Meeting Rooms for all / OIF blog

Policy Allowing Hate Groups to Meet in the Library Comes Under Fire / LA Times

Free Speech Debate Erupts / School Library Journal

Yes, Hate Groups Can Hold Meetings in Libraries Too / Reason

Libraries Can't Afford to Welcome Hate / socialworker.org

Who's Welcome Here? / Library Babel Fish Blog

See also 

ALA Meeting Rooms, Exhibit Space & Programs

ALA First Amendment and Censorship

ALA Hate Speech and Hate Crime


Further Reading:

Intellectual Freedom Blog of The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom.