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A Message from FTRF's Director

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brexit. The rise of Austria’s Freedom Party, France’s Front National, Netherlands’ Party for Freedom. Anti-immigrant movements in Italy and Hungary.

In the United States, following a campaign in which the winning candidate called many Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, threatened to jail a political opponent, and vowed to make it easier to sue the media, many fear that a nativist, nationalist, even authoritarian movement has returned to our shores.

I said, “returned.” In preparing for a webinar called “ALA’s Essentials in Intellectual Freedom,” I was reading about the creation of librarianship’s core document: the Library Bill of Rights. The first version was drafted in 1938 by Forrest Spaulding, then director of the Des Moines Public Library. It was occasioned by, and intended to speak out against, the “growing intolerance, suppression of free speech and censorship affecting the rights of minorities and individuals.”

A year later, that revised document was adopted by the American Library Association. It has become the most enduring and fundamental statement of our professional values.

As I’ve been exploring the landscape of intellectual freedom this year, I think the Library Bill of Rights is worth another and closer look. To that end, I’m pleased to offer this free download to a handy pocket version of the Library Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read Statement. Print out as many copies as you like, and hand it out to as many people as you can.

I’m also excited to offer this teaser for an upcoming new product: the Library Bill of Rights poster. Suitable for framing, it will be available from the ALA Store in late December. I would like to see it proudly displayed in every library board room in the nation. Every departing board member should get one for his or her home.

It’s hard to know if the heated rhetoric of a raucous political campaign will translate once again into the turmoil that followed the late 1930s. But it’s clear that the Freedom to Read Foundation, and its willingness to stand up for the values that ground and define us, will be needed in the years to come. If you just got a renewal notice, please consider rounding that up. When you get a letter from us talking about a donation opportunity – think about what’s at stake.

And thank you for standing with us.

Jamie LaRue, Director
Freedom to Read Foundation &
The Office for Intellectual Freedom 

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BBW Event Brings Freedom to Read and Environmental Issues Together

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On the evening of Friday, April 15, Banned: A community conversation about censorship and free speech (Banned) and Friends of Hemming Park co-hosted The Lorax Movie and Green Market, a family-friendly event in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. Event activities tied together two important issues during the week preceding Earth Day: the need to protect trees and our environment and the freedom to read. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a favorite banned classic that highlights the environmental impact of deforestation; the Year of the Trees was the Earth Day 2016 theme.


Since Fall 2015, Banned and its collaborative partners have presented more than 70 programs at libraries, museums, college campuses and other venues throughout Duval and St. Johns counties to inform the public on issues of censorship and free speech.


This event was sponsored by FTRF's Judith Krug Fund Banned Books Week Event Grants of 2015.


Grant applications are currently open for 2016 events. Read More about Banned Books Week Event Grants HERE.

Tags:  BBW grants 

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FTRF and GSLIS at Illinois announce intellectual freedom course and scholarship opportunities

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) are pleased to announce a partnership to offer an online graduate-level course on intellectual freedom for library and information science (LIS) students around the country. The course, in its third year, will be taught by GSLIS professor Emily Knox, who was awarded a 2015 Instructor of the Year award by the WISE (Web-based Information Science Education) consortium for the course. It is a project of the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.

“Intellectual Freedom and Censorship” is a 2-credit course and will meet online Tuesdays August 23–October 11, 2016. It is open to any student enrolled in an LIS degree program.  As part of the collaboration, Freedom to Read Foundation staff and volunteers will lend their expertise as guest speakers, and FTRF and ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom archival materials will be made available to students. 

“Our culture is at a tipping point, a shift in its tolerance for the First Amendment. It is imperative that today’s library students have a deep and thoughtful exposure to the value of free speech. And who better to receive it from than the 2015 WISE instructor of the year?” said James LaRue, Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation.

“I’m excited to teach the intellectual freedom and censorship class again this Fall,” said Professor Emily Knox. “The course is one of the highlights of my semester. I, like the students, enjoy listening and learning from our weekly speakers and I love our spirited class discussions.”

 Read more HERE

Tags:  GSLIS  krug fund 

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Applications for the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship are now open!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) offers an annual scholarship for library school students and new professionals to attend ALA's Annual Conference. The goal of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship is to advance two principles that Gordon held dear: intellectual freedom and mentoring.

More info HERE.

Tags:  ALA Annual Conference  Conable Scholarship 

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Applications for BBW Krug Fund Grants - now open!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Since 2010, the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund has disbursed grants to organizations to assist them stage "Read-Outs" or other events during Banned Books Week.

 (A Banned Books Week Read-Out is an event at which people gather to read from books that have been banned or challenged over the years, in order to celebrate the freedom to read.)

The 2016 Banned Books Week: September 25 - October 1, 2016

Grant application deadline: May 15, 2016

Application info HERE

Tags:  BBW2016  Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund  Read_out 

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