March 10, 2022

The State Library of Ohio and OhioNet announce a date change for the 4th installment in the Critical Conversations Series , What to know about Intellectual Freedom, Book Challenges and Libraries with ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. The virtual event will now be held on  April 18, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. The 90-minute presentation is geared toward Ohio library staff of all types. Library staff strive to provide their communities with diverse resources, programming, and services to ensure that the library is a welcoming and inclusive institution for everyone. Attention is being turned toward access to materials on social-emotional learning, diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as access to books by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGTBQIA+ authors. Yet many libraries are seeing an uptick in challenges to programs and resources, as well as to library workers’ ability to serve their communities. Book challenges and censorship of library and/or classroom materials is unfortunately not a new phenomenon in librarianship, though headlines have been made in Texas, Philadelphia, Florida, Ohio, and many other states recently. Learn about these challenges and how to proactively respond via policy, procedure, and advocacy in order to build local and legislative support for your library.

In this installment of Critical Conversations, we will learn about the current climate of Intellectual Freedom and Censorship from the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom (ALA, OIF).  Gaining knowledge and preparing library policies and procedures can help staff and administration feel prepared and confident in the intellectual freedom process. In addition to resources provided through OIF, registrants will have access to a curated list of materials

After the presentations, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom, Megan Cusick, assistant director, state advocacy for ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, and Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of ALA OIF will be in conversation with Erin Kelsey, Library Consultant at the State Library of Ohio, about proactive strategies that prepare library directors, staff, and supporters to respond effectively to adverse issues and build a climate of support for their library.

Registrants will be sent a Zoom link via email and in a series of reminders prior to the event. A recording will be uploaded and available for viewing if you can’t make the live event. **Everyone that  registered for the previous date will receive an email about the date change.  All registrants will have access to a recording of the event.  

In partnership with OhioNet, Critical Conversations is supported by the State Library of Ohio with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875