Intellectual Freedom Groups

Assignment 1, by Zach Tomaszewski

for LIS 693, Summer 2001, taught by Dr. Rebecca Knuth

ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom

OIF seeks to educate librarians and the public about the importance of intellectual freedom. It also implements ALA policies concerning the Library Bill of Rights and free access to libraries. OIF includes all of the other groups below.

ALA's Intellectual Freedom Roundtable

IFRT provides a forum for ALA member discussion and involvement in issues of intellectual freedom in libraries. It provides policy recommendations to ALA in general. There are additional ALA dues to join the IFRT, but they are only $10 (or $1 for student members).

Freedom to Read Foundation

FTRF promotes the First Ammendment right to express an opinion and to read or listen to the opinions of others. It does this by promoting libraries to include any materials they can legally acquire and to support their users' free speech rights. They have a quarterly publication for FTRF members.

ALA's Intellectual Freedom Action Network

Though various OIF groups work to support intellectual freedom, the majority of censorship cases go unreported. IFAN members monitor their communties for cases of censorship and report these to OIF. There is no fee involved with joining IFAN.

LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund

The Merritt Fund is a trust devoted to financially supporting libraries who are either discriminated against on the basis of sex, sexual preference, race, color, creed, or place of national origin; or who lose their jobs due to their support of intellectual freedom. There is an application form available on the web site; the Merritt Fund Trustees make the award decisions.

ALA's Social Responsibilities Roundtable

SRRT believes that librarians should be involved in social and economic issues in order to foster a more equitable and democratic community. Some of the issues dealt with are encouraging libraries to use smaller, independent publishers, and spreading awareness of racial, feminist, enviornmental, poverty, and international issues. SRRT is the only one of these pages that does not use the ALA website template.