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Intellectual Freedom Forum

Thursday, March 24

Oregon Convention Center, Oregon Ballroom 203

In this time of increased challenges to core library values and expertise, PLA is hosting multiple sessions to share resources and build connections in support of intellectual freedom.


Admission to the Intellectual Freedom Forum is included with Full Conference registrations, Single-Day registrations for March 24, and Exhibits-Plus badges. All sessions are free; for One-on-One Consultation Appointments with staff from ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, space is limited and advance sign-up is required.

Ask a Lawyer
12:00 PM–1:30 PM

How can I respond to a patron claim that a book is obscene or “harmful to minors”? What can a librarian do when law enforcement shows up with a warrant? How can I prepare and respond to challenges and disruptions in the library? This session won't be legal advice but will use live questions on legal topics to walk attendees through how, when, and why to use the services of an attorney. Stephanie (Cole) Adams, a Buffalo, NY attorney whose practice includes offering the "Ask the Lawyer" service through the regional library councils of New York, and Deborah Caldwell Stone, executive director of ALA’s Office on Intellectual Freedom, will be on hand to answer your questions.

Peer-Sharing Roundtables
2:00 PM–3:00 PM

Meet with your peers in a World Café Style session to discuss challenges, share best practices, and connect on the important issues facing libraries. Lightly facilitated by PLA member-leaders, table topics will include: De-escalation: strategies for responding to contentious conversations; Staff safety and wellbeing: ensuring staff have resources to care for themselves; Organized challenges: responding to challenges originating outside your community; Board relations: fostering successful relationships with hostile board members; Local advocacy: identifying your champions and activating them before a crisis hits; Legislative advocacy: responding to proposed bills and working with local legislators; Working with local schools: partnering to support and amplify IF in your community, and; Long-term community relations: repairing relationships after challenging times.

One-on-One Consultation Appointments
2:00 PM–4:00 PM

Sign up for a twenty-minute appointment with staff from ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Deborah Caldwell Stone, executive director, and Kristin Pekoll, assistant director, will be available for confidential support and guidance in responding to materials and service challenges and implementing intellectual freedom best practices in your library. Space is limited and advance sign-up is required.

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