The Connecticut Four. From left: Barbara Bailey, Peter Chase, George Christian, and Janet Nocek

Defenders of Patron Privacy

September 1, 2021

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), they challenged the climate of surveillance and government overreach that followed the September 11 attacks, showing the nation that librarians would stand by the rights of patrons and civil liberties. Here, the four share their memories of the experience and its resonance today with American … Continue reading Defenders of Patron Privacy

Young woman in blue shirt reads the 10th edition of ALA's Intellectual Freedom Manual

Intellectual Freedom: A Manual for Library Workers

July 8, 2021

What were some of the biggest changes in the manual—such as new laws, policy updates, privacy rules, and technology issue—since the ninth edition in 2015? MARTIN GARNAR: One of the biggest changes was the sheer number of new interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights—eight in total, with topics ranging from religion and politics to … Continue reading Intellectual Freedom: A Manual for Library Workers

50 years of the Office for Intellectual Freedom

50 Years of Intellectual Freedom

November 1, 2017

This December, OIF is celebrating 50 years of fighting for intellectual freedom: half a century of championing ­libraries, finding allies within the literary community, and aiding librarians in times of high anxiety. It’s an evolving role to be cherished and safeguarded. Lighting the flame At the 1965 Midwinter Meeting preconference in Washington, D.C., the Intellectual … Continue reading 50 Years of Intellectual Freedom

State delegations at ALA's 43rd annual National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2017.

Advocacy in Critical Times

May 3, 2017

The number of attendees was the highest in 10 years, spurred by the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget that would eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the agency that distributes federal funding to state library agencies and other grant programs. As ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels said in his opening statement … Continue reading Advocacy in Critical Times

Connecticut Four Reunite Against FBI Overreach

September 28, 2016

In 2005, an original section of the Patriot Act allowed the FBI to compel anyone they presented with a National Security Letter (NSL) to hand over detailed personal information, including library borrowing and internet search records, about any individual being investigated. The law also allowed the FBI to accompany NSLs with gag orders forbidding their recipients from disclosing that … Continue reading Connecticut Four Reunite Against FBI Overreach

Detail from Section 215 by Hasan Elahi. The mural incorporates pigment images of the rooftop of a National Security Agency building with Section 215 overlaid in Morse code.

MLK Library’s Tribute to Banned Books Week

September 28, 2015

Hosting a tour of the installations showcased on the first and second floors of the library, Matthew Mann, MLK library associate and curator of the exhibit, says the exhibit was organized to underscore the library’s commitment to the rights of freedom of speech and expression. Several artists focused on potential threats to personal privacy posed … Continue reading MLK Library’s Tribute to Banned Books Week