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Conversations with IFC (Intellectual Freedom Committee)
Wednesday, March 08, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EST
Category: NELA Events

Conversations with IFC (Intellectual Freedom Committee)

Join colleagues for bi-monthly meet-ups on the second Wednesday of the month at 10:00am.  These meet-ups are informal and virtual.  Drop-in when you can!  

You do not need to be a NELA member to attend. You only need to register once and can drop-in anytime! If you are seeing an error when you try to register, it likely means you are already registered. If you would like to double check your registration, please email Megan Bishop at [email protected]. 

 Upcoming Dates & Topics

  • January Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 10:00am
  • Facilitator: Dawn Jenkins, NELA IFC Chair, ([email protected])
  • Topic: Revisit Topics from ALA's Feb. 2021 Intellectual Freedom & Social Justice Webinar - This will be a condensed version of the ALA webinar, with opportunity for discussion. 

See below for a list of speakers, topics, and additional materials that were involved with the 2021 ALA webinar.
Speakers | Topics | Additional Materials
  • Speakers:
    • Loida Garcia-Febo: international library consultant, researcher and expert on topics such as human rights, advocacy and services to multicultural populations, and past ALA president
    • Rhonda Evans: assistant chief librarian of the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, IFRT Membership Promotion committee member, and IFRT chair-elect candidate
    • Amanda Vazquez: assistant director, Dubuque County Library District and chair of IFRT’s Publications Committee
    • Shannon Oltmann: associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information, intellectual freedom scholar, and editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy
    • Laura Koltutsky: associate librarian, University of Calgary, past chair of ALA IFRT and past coordinator of ALA Social Responsibilities Round table
    • Desmond Wong: outreach librarian at University of Toronto Libraries committed to justice for and solidarity with Black and Indigenous peoples, and 
    • Rae-Anne Montague: assistant professor in Chicago State University’s information studies program and ALA Rainbow Round Table chair.

  • Topics: Discussion questions might include, but are not limited to - 
    • Representation:
      • How should selection and collection management practices and other policies address representation and intellectual freedom? 
      • How should libraries handle public art, such as murals or statuary, that misrepresents marginalized peoples or memorializes those responsible for historical harms?
      • Under what conditions should individuals or groups be restricted from using library meeting spaces and resources?
    • Labeling:
      • How can we make materials and collections visible and browsable, while also striving for decentering, to avoid othering, and to preserve patron choice in privacy? 
      • How should library spaces be ‘named’ and labeled, and what considerations arise for development efforts?
    • Discoverability:
      • How can social justice work inform resource description, cataloging, and indexing? Are existing resource description frameworks – such as the Dewey Decimal System, Library of Congress Classification, and Library of Congress Subject Headings – in conflict with DEI efforts; if so, can they be reformed, or should they be replaced? 
      • How do library assessment practices and patron analytics on library use impact patron privacy and chill free inquiry?

 Upcoming Dates & Topics

March Date: Wednesday, March 8th, 10:00am
March Facilitators & Topic: TBD
IFC Tools & Materials