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Intellectual Freedom Committee

Resources | Educational Programs | Committee Members | Purpose and Objectives | Annual Report |

The OLC's Intellectual Freedom Committee works to help Ohio public libraries become more proactive in addressing intellectual freedom issues by offering resources, educational programs, and support.


YouTube Video - Banned Books Week 2013

Click to Choose Your Own Intellectual Freedom Adventure!pdf

Intellectual Freedom Poster

Intellectual Freedom Policy

Intellectual Freedom Committee Brochure

Fundamentals of Intellectual Freedom
The Intellectual Freedom Committee has compiled this list of links, articles, and other resources to help you stay informed about intellectual freedom issues.

Accessibility Temperature Tool
You need to know the pulse of your community. If you do not, you are encouraged to find out. These are guidelines and suggestions to help you determine what your library's temperature and think about some solutions for wellness. Consider the impact of the barriers that block individuals from their right to the freedom of information. Hopefully the Intellectual Freedom Committee has given you some ideas of how to tear down those walls and provide a welcoming atmosphere for all members of your community. Take the Accessibility Temperature of your library.

olc Educational Programs

Helping Ohio libraries become more proactive in addressing intellectual freedom issues has long been a goal of the intellectual Freedom Committee. We offer the following programs and others upon request to help your library set a solid foundation of staff awareness and organizational response.

Access, Intellectual Freedom, and the Brave New Digital World
While there has been a veritable avalanche of information on social networking, user-generated content, web 2.0, and eBooks, very little of the conversation has addressed the intellectual freedom issues associated with these new technologies. Library professionals routinely defend the First Amendment rights of library users to seek, access, receive, and disseminate ideas. These rights are applicable to all library users (including minors) and should be protected regardless of the information’s format. Legislative initiatives as well as some local restrictions could deny users the right to access many web applications. New patron privacy concerns emerge with eBook lending and the use of third party vendors. This program will provide an overview of social networking applications, web 2.0 technologies, digital books, and the accompanying professional and intellectual freedom issues they pose.

The First Thirty Seconds
Front-line staff members are often the first point of contact when library materials are challenged. As such, having staff that are prepared to deal effectively with challenges is critical to keeping these sometimes tense situations from escalating. Participants in this session will receive an overview of the library profession’s commitment to intellectual freedom. They’ll also have an opportunity to learn behaviors that can articulate our professional stance on intellectual freedom while respecting the views of those who express concern about library materials. This session is perfect for new staff as well as those who wish to brush up on intellectual freedom issues.

If you would like either program presented to your staff, Friends of the Library, or Board of Trustees, please contact a member of the Intellectual Freedom Committee or the OLC.

olc Committee Members

Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Chair (2014)
Hudson Library & Historical Society
Work: 330-653-6658

Andrew Harant, Assistant Chair (2014)
Cuyahoga County Public Library, Maple Heights Branch
Work: 216-475-5000
Email: aharant@cuyahogalibrary.org

Julie Arter, Committee (2016)
Columbus Metro Library
Work: 614-479-3152
Email: jarter@columbuslibrary.org

Julianne Bedel, Committee (2016)
Barberton Public Library
Work: 330-745-1195
Email: julianne.bedel@barbertonlibrary.org

Thomas Brook, Committee (2014)
Delaware County District Library
Work: 740-363-7277
Email: tbrook@delawarelibrary.org

Shannon Holmes, Committee (2016)
Cuyahoga County Public Library
Work: 216-398-1800
Email: sholmes@cuyahogalibrary.org

Gregg McCullough, Committee (2015)
York County Library System
Work: 717-235-4313
Email: gmccull1@kent.edu

Amy Switzer, Committee (2015)
Shaker Heights Public Library
Work: 216-991-2030
Email: aswitzer@shakerlibrary.org

Karen Sykeny, Committee (2016)
Massillon Public Library
Work: 330-832-9831 x318
Email: sykenyka@massillonlibrary.org

Sarah Wright, Committee (2015)
Columbus Metropolitan Library
Work: 614-479-6432
Email: swrigh26@kent.edu

Nick Tepe, Board Liaison

Purpose and Objectives

This committee is responsible for maintaining OLC's policies on intellectual freedom and for offering guidance for specific Ohio problems. The committee works with the Government Relations Committee and the OLC counsel as the need arises, and maintains communication and interaction with other groups whose objectives parallel those of OLC in the area of intellectual freedom. This provides a broad base for action should it become necessary.

2014 Goals and Objectives pdf

Annual Report

2013 Annual Report

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