From the ALA Director 4/4: Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)

Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)  

Brief Filed in Case Pending Before U.S. Supreme Court

On March 4, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and the American Library Association joined with a broad coalition of bookstores and organizations to file an amicus curiae brief in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.   A decision against the plaintiffs in the case could negatively affect the right to challenge laws that infringe on the First Amendment prior to their enforcement. The brief filed by FTRF and ALA argues that three decades of case law clearly demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of allowing pre-enforcement challenges to statutes that violate the First Amendment.  Oral arguments will be heard later this year.

[Daniel – I’m a personal member of the Freedom to Read Foundation and I think you should be too.] 

Intellectual Freedom Training Workshops in Toronto

Barbara Jones, Director, OIF, and Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director, OIF, traveled to Toronto, Canada in late February to conduct a series of intellectual freedom training workshops for the staff of the Toronto Public Library (TPL).  Approximately 150 staff members turned out to consider and discuss how to manage challenges and the impact of intellectual freedom on collection development policies.  Staff response was excellent, and the TPL administration said it is looking forward to inviting OIF staff back to Toronto to conduct further training sessions.


Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out

The Office for Intellectual Freedom is working with SAGE Publications for a Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out—a continuous reading of banned and challenged books via video— during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The videos procured during this event will be featured during Banned Books Week (September 21-27, 2014), and will be part of the soft launch of World Banned Books Week.  The cities featured will be London, DC, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.


Preparation for Ninth Edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual

The Intellectual Freedom Committee met over March 28 – 30 to review Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights and other policy documents in preparation for the publication of the new ninth edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.  Several Interpretations were revised and will be submitted to the Executive Board and ALA Council for input within the next few weeks. The goal is to complete review in time for the Annual Conference in Las Vegas, where ALA Council will be asked to approve the changes.   The new edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual is slated for publication in 2015.

This was excerpted from EBD # 12.20 2013-2014 Report to Council and Executive Board April 4, 2014 from Keith Michael Fiels Executive Director.

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