ALA Annual Conference 2023

More Impactful Programs Coming Up at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference

Amazingly, this year’s ALA Annual Conference is now mere weeks away! To build on the great recent post by the Program Coordinating Committee on what to look forward to however you are engaging, here are some recommendations from our Intellectual Freedom Committee on sessions that will be helpful to all of us in dealing with the difficult situations this challenging time presents.

A Rally for the Right to Read: Uniting for Libraries & Intellectual Freedom

Thursday, June 22, 6:00-9:00 pm, Hilton Chicago-Boulevard Room

Join us to honor the courage and resilience of America’s librarians and their persevering work to protect the freedom to read. Beginning at 6 pm, program attendees will hear from inspiring speakers and recognize the 2023 recipients of the FTRF Roll of Honor Award, the Eli M. Oboler Award, the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award and the John Phillip Immroth Award. At 8 pm, a catered cocktail reception will provide a much-needed opportunity to come together in solidarity against censorship. A ticket to attend the catered reception is strongly encouraged but not required. Space is limited and those with a ticket will receive priority admission. Due to security concerns, attendees will not be admitted without an ALA Annual Conference badge. Reserve your free ticket here:

News You Can Use—Books Under Fire: Law and the Right to Read, 2023

Saturday, June 24, 1:00-2:00 pm, McCormick Place-W180

In 2023, attempts to ban books and limit access to libraries through new legislation and even local ordinances accelerated at a pace never seen before. These are driven by attempts to censor access to books and materials related to sex, reproductive health, gender identity, sexual orientation, and content related to race. Learn about the various types of adverse legislation, understand how these laws infringe on library users’ rights, and what steps can be taken through the courts and through advocacy to preserve the right to read. Learning objectives include:

  • An understanding of publicly funded libraries responsibilities to protect the right to read and access the library under the First and Fourteenth Amendment.
  • An understanding of proposed laws, ordinances, and administrative rules intended to censor materials or restrict library workers’ ability to provide information to their community Strategies for effective advocacy to preserve the right to read, including networking with local and statewide groups.
  • Resources through the American Library Association and the Freedom to Read Foundation that help fight legislative censorship.

Make the Most of Banned Books Week

Sunday, June 25, 1:00-2:00 pm, McCormick Place-W194a

Banned Books Week 2023 will mark its 41st year October 1-7. Banned Books Week coordinator Betsy Gomez will lead a discussion about the 2023 Banned Books Week theme and resources, ways you can use Banned Books Week to engage your community, and strategies for convincing even the most reluctant to participate in the annual event! Learning objectives include:

  • Strategies for successful community engagement.
  • Suggestions for programming, tie ins, and events.
  • Talking points they can use that will fit with their community and patrons.

News You Can Use—Activating Community Support with Unite Against Book Bans

Sunday, June 25, 2:30-3:30 pm, McCormick Place-W179a

How can you leverage your community to defend books and other materials in schools and public libraries? In the program, leaders from the Unite Against Book Bans initiative will draw from real-world scenarios to discuss community organizing in support of libraries and ways in which librarians can engage and coordinate with members of their community and the library ecosystem to fight censorship. Learning objectives include:

  • An understanding of community organizing as a support system for libraries and library staff.
  • Tools and best practices for engaging sustained community support.
  • Strategies for successful internal and external communication around censorship issues.

See you there!

Andrew Medlar is co-chair of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *