Intellectual Freedom Committee Newsletter

Intellectual Freedom Committee Newsletter

ILA Intellectual Freedom Committee Newsletter, Issue 3



This is the third newsletter from your ILA Intellectual Freedom Committee for 2017. You will receive a quarterly newsletter from us that summarizes what is going on in the world of intellectual freedom. Anything to do with Idaho will get priority, but we want you to stay informed with what is going on throughout the country too!


And remember, we want to know what is going on in your library! Shoot us an email and let us know about any book challenges, concerns, or activities in your area. All communication is confidential; we will consult you before talking to anyone else. Challenges can also be reported to the ALA national office, using this form.


Shalini Ramachandran, Chair, Intellectual Freedom Committee






On May 24th, 2017, the Intellectual Freedom Committee along with Boise Public Library hosted a talk on Surveillance, Censorship, and Intellectual Freedom at Boise Public Library. The speaker was Ritchie Eppink from ACLU of Idaho. Eppink spoke about the weakening of privacy rights caused by the pervasiveness of digital tracking of individuals, both by the government and by large companies. The talk was well attended by the public. In the Q&A session that followed, many people raised the question of what practical steps they could take to protect their digital privacy rights.




The Intellectual Freedom Committee is hosting a panel discussion at the ILA annual conference on digital privacy and its impact on libraries. The panel is scheduled for Friday, October 6th from 8:30-10:00 AM. Based on the interest shown by the public in finding ways to protect their privacy rights at the talk at Boise Public Library in May, the committee decided to invite speakers to address librarians and library workers, who are keenly interested in protecting the 1st amendment rights of patrons. Confirmed speakers are Ritchie Eppink of ACLU-Idaho and Luke Malek, legislator from Kootenai county. Both speakers have law degrees from the University of Idaho and are strong advocates for digital privacy rights.




Intellectual Freedom and Open Access


What do the ideals of intellectual freedom and open access have in common? How do they differ? The panel “Intellectual Freedom and Open Access; Working Toward a Common Goal?” at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, sponsored by ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table, invited three librarians to speak on the issue: Marguerite Avery, senior acquisitions editor at Trinity University Press, San Antonio, TX; April Hathcock, scholarly communications librarian at New York University; and James LaRue, director of Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). Read the full report by Lisa Peet in Library Journal, June 29, 2017.



Celebrating SE Hinton, creator of the YA genre

From the OIF blog: July 22nd was the birthday of S.E. Hinton, the celebrated author whose work helped create the YA genre. Born July 22, 1948, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Susan Eloise Hinton had a profound impact early on. Her first book, The Outsiders, was published when Hinton was 19, in 1967 (meaning the book turns 50 this year). Hinton had begun writing the book at the age of 15, and says that one of the reasons she wrote the book was that she was dissatisfied with the way teenagers were portrayed at the time. Her books reflect the teenagers she knew when she was herself a teenager, and that’s very likely why they resonate so strongly with readers, and have continued to do so. Read more about her life here:


Net Neutrality: Why School Librarians Should Care


By Helen Adams in Knowledge Quest, 7/27/2017: “On July 12, 2017, the American Library Association (ALA) and nearly 200 other organizations participated in Day of Action, a protest to save Net Neutrality. What is Net Neutrality? It is “[the] principle, or requirement that Internet service providers should or must treat all Internet data as the same regardless of its kind, source, or destination” (Merriam-Webster). Prohibiting discrimination or preferential treatment by Internet service providers (ISPs) maintains a free and open Internet for all users.” Read her complete essay here:


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