Monday, April 28, 2014

Applications for the FTRF Banned Books Week event grants close Wednesday, April 30.

REMINDER! Applications for the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund Banned Books Week event grants close this Wednesday, April 30.


Krug Fund Banned Books Week event grant applications are open through April 30

Applications are now open for the 2014 Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund Banned Books Week event grants, sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF). Organizations are encouraged to apply for grants of $1,000 and/or $2,500 in support of "Read-Outs” or other activities that celebrate Banned Books Week (Sept. 21–27, 2014).

Applications for the grants will be accepted through April 30, 2014, and the announcements will be made in June.

The Freedom to Read Foundation
the First Amendment legal defense affiliate of the American Library Associationis an official sponsor of Banned Books Week.

This is the fifth year Krug Fund Banned Books Week event grants will be given. A total of 28 grants have been given to date to support a wide variety of engaging, provocative, and fun events celebrating the freedom to read. Check out photos and videos from last year's events at Photos from all 28 projects at are available on FTRF's Facebook page and Flickr stream; more information about all the funded events can be found at

Organizations are required to submit an event description, timeline and budget with their application; they also will agree to provide a written report, photos and video from their event(s) to FTRF following Banned Books Week. Only not-for-profit organizations may apply, although they need not have official 501(c)3 status. Krug Fund grants cannot be used to buy computer hardware. Detailed grant guidelines are available on the application page.

Note: Organizations that received 2013 grants are ineligible to apply for 2014 grants.

For more information on Banned Books Week, challenges to materials in libraries and schools and resources for combating censorship, visit A compendium of thousands of books that have been banned and challenged can be found in the 2010 "Banned Books Resource Guide," available through the ALA Store: You also can purchase Banned Books Week posters, buttons, bookmarks, t-shirts, bracelets and tote bags there.

Contact Jonathan Kelley at with questions, or call (800) 545-2433, ext.4226.

Judith F. Krug, FTRF’s first executive director, was passionate about Banned Books Week and defending the freedom to read. After her death, the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund was established to guarantee that the message of Banned Books Week would continue to spread and grow around the United States.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations award winner announced

It is my pleasure to let you know that this year’s Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations award will go to the New Jersey Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee.  This was the unanimous choice of the ALA IF Coalition Building committee

This organization was selected for a body of work over many years that was highlighted by the assistance of Grayson Barber, Esq.  As stated in the application, “With Grayson’s guidance, NJLA has issued many policy statements,  legal memorandums and legal briefs on some of the most important Intellectual Freedom topics facing our members.  In addition,  as a member of the committee, Grayson has also been “on call” for any library facing an intellectual freedom challenge. She provided confidential assistance to libraries facing many legal issues but particularly providing  guidance to libraries receiving challenges associated with the  interpretation of  the New Jersey Confidentiality of Library Records Statutes.” 

The committee developed numerous statements which were adopted by NJLA and provided to its members on subjects including privacy, National Security Letters, confidentiality, children and libraries and charging for library services to help clarify and inform library staff.  They also provided many papers and programs on these subjects. 

NJLA Executive Director Pat Tumulty and current President Eileen Palmer will be at ALA to receive the award.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Call for Executive Committee Nominations

The IFRT Nominating Committee invites nominations for the open positions on the IFRT Executive Committee for the spring 2014 ALA election with terms beginning July 1, 2014. We will be electing the Vice-chair/Chair Elect, Secretary,and two Directors.
  • Vice-chair/Chair-Elect is a three-year commitment. In the second year of service, the Vice-chair moves into the Chair position, and then serves a third year as the Nominating Committee Chair.
  • Secretary is a two-year commitment, and is a member of the IFRT Executive Committee.
  • Directors each serve two-year terms as members of the IFRT Executive Committee.
More information about the responsibilities of IFRT Executive Committee members may be found in our Bylaws or by contacting the Nominating Committee Chair, Julia Warga [julia.warga [at]]. To nominate yourself or a colleague, please email the Committee Chair [julia.warga [at]]. The committee will accept nominations until January 3, 2014.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Amash Amendment to End NSA Surveillance: Call Congress Today

Support is growing for the Amash Amendment, a proposal by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep.  John Conyers (D-MI)  that would halt funding for the National Security Agency’s (NSA) warrantless collection of phone records for all persons in the United States under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.  The legislation would amend the Defense Appropriations Bill, HR 2397, so that the NSA could only use court orders issued pursuant to Section 215 to collect phone records on individuals who are the actual subject of a terrorism or espionage investigation.

Below are the organizations that have issued a statement of support for the Amash amendment:

ACLU letter of Support
ACLU Myths and Facts on Section 215
Center For National Security Studies
Association of Research Libraries
Campaign for Liberty
Center for Democracy and Technology
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
The Constitution Project

Your immediate support is crucial:  the amendment could come up for debate today.  Ask your Congressional representative today to support the Amash Amendment to stop funding for NSA Surveillance

Full post:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

IFRT Report needs your contributions!

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table Newsletter editors call all inspired ALA attendees! 

Will you attend Susan Crawford, Michael German, and Geoff Stone’s panels at the ALA conference?

Did any other IF panels at the ALA conference make you realize something that everyone should know about?

We would also like to publish articles from advocates for the Treaty for the Blind, and any other intellectual freedom issues that need attention. 

Please contact IFRT Report editors John Harer or Bridget O’Leary-Storer by July 15th for consideration.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

IFRT accepting nominations for 2014 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award

The American Library Association (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) is seeking nominations for its 2014 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award. The biennial award is presented for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom and consists of $500 and a citation. Nominations will be accepted through Dec. 1, 2013.

The award was named for Eli M. Oboler, the extensively published Idaho State University librarian known as a “champion of intellectual freedom who demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom of expression.”  Works to be considered for the award may be single articles (including review pieces), a series of thematically connected articles, books or manuals published on the local, state or national level in English or English translation. The work must have been published within the two-year period ending the December prior to the ALA Annual Conference at which it is granted. The 2014 award is for work published between 2012 and 2013.

The Oboler nomination form is available on the ALA website. Nominations and supporting evidence should be sent to:  Shumeca Pickett, ALA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Telephone: 312-280-4220 or 800-545-2433, ext. 4220. Fax: 312-280-4227. Email:

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom. 

IFRT events at ALA-Annual Chicago

We hope you are able to join us at any or all of our events at the upcoming ALA Annual conference!

IFRT 40th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, June 28, 2013 — 7:30pm to 10:00pm
Chicago Cultural Center Preston Bradley Hall
78 E. Washington St. at Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

Refreshments, including signature cocktails, will be served.

We are pleased to also now be able to offer library-focused tours of  this historic building, the former site of the central branch of the Chicago Public Library!

** Tickets are only available for purchase until next Monday, 6/24.
Tickets will NOT be available on-site. For more information on ticket  purchasing, go to **

"How a Book is Saved: Challenges and How to Fight Them"
IFRT's Conference Program
Saturday, June 29, 2013 — 8:30am to 10:00am
McCormick Place Convention Center—S405

What motivates an individual to challenge materials in a library’s  collection and how should the library respond? Please join us for an anatomy of a challenge.  Emily Knox will explore the  motivation to challenge materials. Kristin Pekoll and Suellen Reimers
will discuss their libraries’ experiences with challenges. And, Nanette Perez will explain what you can do to prepare for a challenge – before it happens. Coffee and  pastries will be served.

IFRT Executive Board Meetings
Everyone is welcome to attend.
IFRT I: Friday, June 28, 2013 — 1:30pm to 2:30pm
IFRT II: Monday, July 1, 2013 — 8:30am to 10:00am
Both meetings will be held at the Palmer House Hilton in the Chicago Room

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Help us help librarians!

The LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund

Karla Shafer served as director of the Hooper (Nebr.) Public Library for six and a half years before a controversy erupted in 2010 over the English classes she taught to immigrants in a nearby town on her days off. She resigned her position when the work environment became untenable. Three months later, her unemployment benefits were canceled, following an appeal from the city.

With money running out and few other options available to her, Karla turned to the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund for assistance. The Fund gave Karla $5,000 to help pay her overdue bills and legal expenses. “What I perceived as harassment and punishment would have truly destroyed me had it not been for the Merritt Fund,” Shafer said. “It is still hard to describe the emotional suffering of those months.”

In 2011, Karla moved to Omaha and accepted a part-time library position. “It is very evident there comes a time for many of us when we need others – even strangers – to say ‘Here, I’ll help you. That could have been me!”

Since 1971 The Merritt Fund is devoted to the support, maintenance, medical care, and welfare of librarians who have been
·         denied employment rights or discriminated against on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, age, disability, or place of national origin; 
·         denied employment rights because of defense of intellectual freedom; that is, threatened with loss of employment or discharged because of their stand for the cause of intellectual freedom, including promotion of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the freedom of librarians to select items for their collections from all the world’s written and recorded information.
The Merritt Fund cannot provide this assistance without the help of supporters like you. Please join us in supporting our colleagues by making a donation to the Merritt Fund. Visit the Merritt Fund donation page to make your donation today at
Loida Garcia-Febo
Chair, IFRT Merritt Fund Committee