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Office for Intellectual Freedom

Office for Intellectual Freedom


225 Michigan Ave, Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 280-4221
E-mail: oif@ala.org

     

Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials.  The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.

Support

  • OIF provides to anyone addressing a challenge to materials, programming, policy, or services. Our allows you to report censorship and request assistance with the challenge.  Alternatively, you can send email to oif@ala.org or call 312-280-4221 to request assistance.
  • Our free help you prepare for censorship and implement vital intellectual freedom best practices within your library or school. We create and edit policies, strategize plans for working with communities and families, and provide workshops and programs about the First Amendment, privacy laws, internet filtering, and intellectual freedom.

Training

  • Subject matter experts from the Office for Intellectual Freedom are available to speak at workshops and professional development sessions on topics such as collection development, professional ethics, and law and policy concerning intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, internet filtering, the First Amendment and more.  
  • We create webinars designed to educate librarians and the public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries, often focusing on single topics, such as collection development, book challenges, or meeting rooms.. Our webinars are recorded. After the live event, many of the recordings are accessible at the .or available through ALA E-learning.

Public Awareness

  • in the fall draws attention to the harms of censorship and the benefits of unrestricted reading.
  • is ALA's national initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.
  • With a diverse group of librarians and writers, OIF publishes an engaging with a huge selection of topics and viewpoints. Every Friday, OIF News Editors, a free weekly compilation of news about censorship cases, and articles about privacy, internet filtering, academic freedom and the First Amendment. Anyone can in their email inbox on Fridays.
  • OIF releases an annual list of the during National Library Week in April using its censorship database.
  • We produce and market to create awareness of and .

Publications

  • We collaborate with intellectual freedom leaders to continually on a broad range of intellectual freedom issues, including censorship, material challenges, collection policies, privacy, internet filtering, academic freedom and equal access to information.
  • (JIFP) includes substantive essays, peer-reviewed articles, book reviews, legal briefs, and opinion pieces. The $50 annual subscription allows readers to review the latest book banning incidents, court rulings, and legal controversies.
  • The 10th edition of the is more than just an invaluable compendium of guiding principles and policies; it’s also an indispensable resource for day-to-day guidance on maintaining free and equal access to information for all people, including
    • 34 ALA policy statements and documents, 17 new or updated for this edition, addressing patron behavior, internet use, copyright, exhibits and use of meeting spaces
    • At-a-glance lists summarizing key issues such as access, challenges and censorship, access by minors to controversial materials, and advocacy
    • Explanations of legal points in clear, easy-to-understand language, alongside case citations
    • Numerous checklists to help readers stay organized

Our Community

  • (IFC)
    A committee of ALA’s Council responsible for safeguarding the rights of library users in accordance with the First Amendment. The IFC page includes its official charge, roster, current activities, and discussion of draft documents.
  • (COPE)
    A committee of ALA’s Council charged with augmenting the Code of Ethics through interpretations and guiding documents. The COPE page includes its official charge, roster with term dates, and current activities and reports.
  • (IFRT)
    A grassroots membership group of more than 1,000 intellectual freedom advocates. The IFRT executive board organizes programs, events, and awards. For $15 per year, all IFRT members receive free intellectual freedom eLearning.
  • (FTRF)
    FTRF was established in 1969 as a First Amendment legal defense organization affiliated with the 91ý. FTRF is a separate corporation from the 91ý, working in close liaison with the ALA.

  • OIF hosts a series of online “State of the States” virtual meetings for Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) chairs from ALA Chapters and AASL Affiliates. These meetings are an opportunity to promote communication and discuss state, local, and national intellectual freedom issues.

Staff

For information on libraries and the First Amendment, library policy, filtering, meeting rooms and user privacy::
Deborah Caldwell-Stone
Director
(312) 280-4221
dstone@ala.org

For challenge support, information about book challenges, OIF publications and journals, and the State Intellectual Freedom Network:

Eric Stroshane
312-280-4221 estroshane@ala.org

For webinars, professional development courses, and other educational opportunities related to intellectual freedom::

Joyce McIntosh
(312) 280-4221
jmcintosh@ala.org

For Banned Books Week, Unite Against Book Bans, Social Media, advocacy and outreach:
Betsy Gomez
(312) 280-4221
bgomez@ala.org

For Freedom to Read Foundation and Merritt Fund Support: 
Karen Gianni
(312) 280-4221
kgianni@ala.org