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Intellectual Freedom

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Intellectual Freedom Links:
Education and Advocacy Groups

You'll find additional links on our Thinking about Intellectual Freedom page.

AS IF: Authors Supporting Intellectual Freedom
: AS IF! "champions those who stand against censorship, especially of books for and about teens." Members include many contemporary young adult authors. They sharing their thoughts and news about intellectual freedom and censorship attempts. (Last post: 2009)

American Civil Liberties Union :  The ACLU is the nation's primary advocate of an individual's civil rights and civil liberties as guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.   The ACLU is best known for its litigation efforts.   The ACLU also assists with advice on how to handle the practical politics that surround attempts to have materials excluded from the public schools. (ACLU-Wisconsin)

Banned Books Week: Sponsored by the American Library Association, this annual event celebrates the freedom to choose, the freedom to read, and the freedom to speak.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: This non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the First Amendment rights of the comics industry has a comics censorship bibliography, case files of censorship attempts in which they've been involved as First Amendment advocates, and news of current and ongoing cases.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: This non-profit organization advocates for freedom of speech and privacy witih regard to digital technologies. EFF does much of its work in the courts, but also works in the area of policy analsyis and education. The Deeplinks blog is a great way to stay on top of technology news as it relates to intellectual freedom and privacy.

First Amendment Schools. First Amendment Schools is a national reform initiative designed to transform how schools teach and practice the rights and responsibilities of citizenship that frame civic life in our democracy.

Free Expression Policy Project: This research and advocacy organization focuses on free speech, copyright and media democracy issues. Their areas of specific interest include (among others) restrictions of publicly funded expressions (such as in libraries and schools), internet filters, and censorship designed to "shield" minors.

Freedom Forum: The Freedom Forum is "dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people." Among its initiatives are the Newseum, newsroom diversity, and First Amendment issues, which are emphasized through many education initiatives.

Freedom to Read Foundation (FRTF): The FTRF is the First Amendment legal defense arm of the American Library Association (ALA). The FTRF provides legal assistance and financial support in court cases involving the First Amendment and libraries.

National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) :  The NCAC is an alliance of 50 national non-profit organizations that are united by a conviction that freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression must be defended.   The organization works to educate its members and the public at large about the dangers of censorship and how to oppose them.

People For the American Way (PFAW) :   The People For the American Way Foundation provides up-to-date news and information for policymakers, scholars and activists nationwide on the Religious Right movement and its political allies. PFAW also engages in legal action as needed to protect or restore the rights and liberties of Americans, as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Especially for For Librarians

American Library Association (ALA): The ALA has an Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) that is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning free access to libraries and library materials. The OIF blog is a great way to keep up with current news and legislation related to IF in libraries. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.   ALA also promotes such events as Banned Books Week.   The ALA's LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund provides support to librarians who are denied or lose employment because of discrimination, including discrimination based on their defense of intellectual freedom.

Especially For Teachers

National Council of the Teachers of English (NCTE) : The NCTE works to improve the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. The NCTE has an Intellectual Freedom Center which provides resources for professionals facing challenges as well as links to NCTE positions papers and documents like the Students' Right to Read.

International Literacy Association (ILA): Formerly the International Reading Association (IRA), the ILA is a professional membership organization dedicated to promoting high levels of literacy for all by improving the quality of reading instruction, disseminating research and information about reading, and encouraging the lifetime reading habit. The ILA has an Intellectual Freedom Committee which strives to monitor challenges, prepare lists of resources, and communicate with other organizations on joint projects.

Wisconsin State Reading Association (WSRA):  The WSRA is a state affiliate of the International Literacy Association. Their Intellectual Freedom Committee's page includes "An Educator's Action Plan" and what to do "After a Challenge."      

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