Intellectual Freedom at Midwinter 2021

If you’re like me, sketching out your schedule for sessions and events at ALA conferences is a fun part of anticipating the trip. In our virtual circumstances, we can still plan, but our options have actually expanded, with some sessions offered “on demand” rather than at a specific time. 

You can find a great overview of events, along with links, in the schedule at a glance.

There is a tremendous line-up of speakers and sessions for Midwinter, and many are closely tied to various principles of intellectual freedom –ideas like equity, access, inclusion, and intellectual property. If these are areas of interest for you, read on!  We’ve combed the schedule to spotlight some amazing IF-related events coming up next week. 

For starters: the Office of Intellectual Freedom will introduce the hot-off-the-press 10th Edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual in an on-demand session.  Viewers get a discount on purchasing a copy.

Speakers and Sessions

Anti-racism Work and Women in Librarianship

On-Demand Program presented by ALA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL), part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries.

The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), an affiliate of ALA, will present the 2021 Outstanding International Books List  (ON DEMAND)

Ruby Bridges (yes, THE Ruby Bridges) will speak at 4 pm on Friday. 

The Opening Session (Saturday at 10:00 a.m.) features Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, both award-winning professors and writers focusing on the study of racism in America.

PLA presents a discussion form: Legal Issues in Public Libraries, led by Tomas A. Lipinski, at 11:00 on Saturday.

The Future of Digital Equity – a stellar panel from across the country 1:15 Sunday.  Followed by a Chat with the Presenters @ 2:15.

Artificial Intelligence: The future is already here -2:30 Sunday

Emmanuel Acho, creator of the YouTube series: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, speaks Sunday at 3:30.

Open Meetings

The following meetings are open to all; a great opportunity to explore areas of interest and plan for your next committee position!

11:00 Saturday -Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) Meeting 

1:30 Saturday  -RUSA Accessibility Assembly meeting 

10:00 Sunday -Joint Committee meeting of Intellectual Freedom and Legislation 

12:00 Sunday –ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee 

2:30 Sunday-Intellectual Freedom Round Table meeting 

10:00 Monday – ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee 

Finally, we invite you to join the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee for our Midwinter meeting, being held after the conference on Friday, January 29 at 3 pm Eastern. Please contact Allison G. Kaplan for a link to join.

All our best wishes for the New Year!

Our Guest Blogger today is Liz Hartnett, Co-chair of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee. Liz is Program Coordinator for the University of South Carolina’s Center for Community Literacy. 

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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