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The Intellectual Freedom Advisory Panel

Events and Programs

Future Programs


  • Please check badk for future programs!

PAST Programs

  • Beyond Fifty Shades – The Whole Crayon Box: Erotica in Public Libraries
    A program of the MLA/DLA Annual Conference in Ocean City, Maryland

    Katie Dunneback – Selection Librarian, National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
    Mary Hastler – Director, Harford County Public Library
    Monica McAbee – Selection Librarian, Prince George's County Memorial Library System

    Thursday, May 9, 2013, 9:00 – 10:15 AM

    The publicity surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey brought new attention to the topic, but public libraries have always faced complex questions about erotica and sexual content in their collections. What are the boundaries of the categories and labels we use? How do we gauge community standards and the changing views of our customers? How do we balance intellectual freedom and customers' objections? How can we provide good reader's advisory service to customers who specifically look for – or wish to avoid – erotic content? Hear from a library director and two selection librarians about these and other questions, and ask ones of your own during the discussion.

    Sponsor: RAIG, PSD and IFAP
    This program is worth 1 contact hour of continuing education

    MAD about Libraries: Comics, Satire, and Censorship in Libraries
    A program of the MLA/DLA Annual Conference in Ocean City, Maryland

    Joe Raiola – MAD Magazine
    Steve LaBash – Retired

    Friday, May 10, 2013, 9:30 – 10:45 AM

    Joe Raiola has had a flourishing career as a solo performer, comedy writer, producer, director and speaker on first amendment issues. He is currently MAD Magazine's "Senior Editor," a title he insists "means nothing since I work at the only place in America where if you mature, you get fired." Steve LaBash has served as the MLA Intellectual Freedom Officer, has been elected twice as ALA Councilor from Maryland, and has been a member of the MLA Intellectual Freedom Panel for over 20 years. He is the retired Director of the University of Baltimore's Langsdale Library. Come hear these two experts riff on intellectual freedom and censorship issues in libraries.

    Sponsor: IFAP
    This program is worth 1 contact hour of continuing education

    Protect Patron Privacy: It's the Law!
    A program of the MLA Annual Conference in Ocean City, Maryland

    Carrie Gardner, Assistant Professor, Department of Library Science and Information Technology, Kuztown University and San Jose University
    David Rocah – Staff Attorney, ACLU of Maryland
    Angela Maycock – Assistant Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association

    How does the issue of privacy and confidentiality affect your library, its patrons and your work? Are you confused about the current privacy laws? Do you find that you’d like to know more about this important issue, but never seem to have the time to wade through the information? This is your opportunity to gain an understanding about what is often considered a confusing, muddy aspect - and core value – of library work.

    Three speakers will help participants gain an understanding of "privacy basics." You will learn enough about specific legislation (such as the Patriot Act) to understand how it directly pertains to your library. The day begins with the speakers’ presentations and ends with a forum discussion addressing questions posed throughout the presentation. This workshop is designed to benefit library staff and administrators. Join us as we explore the various aspects of privacy and confidentiality and what this means for each of us in our day-to-day library work. Walk away with a clearer understanding about how you can ensure privacy for your patrons, yourself and your library.

    Sponsor: IFAP
    This program is worth 5.5 contact hours of continuing education.

    Harmful to Minors

    Date: Monday, October 1, 2007
    Time: 9 AM - 3 PM
    CEUs: 4 hours of continuing education units (.4 CEUs)
    Registration: $50 MLA members, $75 non-MLA members, $42.50 students

    • Please register securely online by September 24, 2007.
    Location: West County Branch AACPL, 1325 Annapolis Road, Odenton, MD 21113
    Directions: http://www.aacpl.net/branch_info/wco.htmlExternal Web Site

    Many adults object strongly and sincerely to various materials they believe are inappropriate for children and teens to see, hear, or read. In the name of protecting minors, they urge libraries to filter, remove, or otherwise restrict access to certain kinds of material. Is this ever appropriate or justified? Or does it constitute censorship and violate the rights of minors? How can a library provide access to all materials to its users in the face of community pressure, threats of withholding funding, and restrictive legislation? To what extent do any of these kinds of materials cause actual harm to minors? Dr. Gardner will explain how and why libraries should uphold the rights of youth to access library materials. If you work with children or teens in a library setting (public or school), or if you make policy for your library system, you will want to hear what Dr. Gardner has to say.

    Sponsored by: IFAP, PSD, CSD

    Printable program description

  • Presenter: Dr. Carrie Gardner, Assistant Professor Coordinator, School Library Media Program, School of Library & Information Science, The Catholic University of America
  • Description:

    • School libraries carry "Harry Potter, Judy Blume, and a book with the word "scrotum" on the first page.
    • Public libraries display magazines with nudity right on the cover.
    • Unfiltered access to the Internet leads to kids printing out pornographic images.
    • Rap albums in the music collection contain violent and misogynistic lyrics.

    • Can the KKK Meet in the Library? Law for Library Administrators

      Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2007
      Time: 9 AM - 4:30 PM
      Event: Maryland Library Association Conference 2006, May 3-5, 2006
      Location: Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel
      Address: 10100 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842
      Contact: Monica McAbee Phone: 301-336-4388 Email: monica.mcabee@pgcmls.info
  • Presenters:  Dan Mach, ACLU Washington Office and Dr. Carrie Gardner, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science, The Catholic University of America
  • Description:
    Can the Ku Klux Klan meet in my library?  Can a religious group use the library meeting room?  Is it a good idea to label parts of the collection according to genre?  These are questions that library administrators often face.  This presentation will examine thew constitutional principles inviolved and review case studies on these and other topics.  Patron behavior policies, exhibit spaces and literature distribution issues will also be discussed.


  • What is this Filth? Law for Front Line Library Staff

    Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2007
    Time: 9 AM - 4:30 PM
    Event: Maryland Library Association Conference 2006, May 3-5, 2006
    Contact: Monica McAbee Phone: 301-336-4388 Email: monica.mcabee@pgcmls.info
  • Presenters:  Steve Anderson, Director, Maryland State Law Library, Dr. Carries Gardner, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science, The Catholic University of America, Monica McAbee, Selection Librarian, Prince George’s County Memorial Library system, and Mary Somers, Public Services Librarian, Harford Community College and MLA Intellectual Freedom Officer
  • Description:
    It is late in the evening. You are the only staff member on duty in the library. An irate patron approaches, waving a book and screaming, "What is this filth?" what do you do? Join our presenters as they discuss the above scenario and the topics of collection development policies, privacy and confidentiality and rights of youth access to library materials.

    After lunch, join Mary and Monica as they reprise their popular program "Defending Access with Confidence". Leave equipped to teach your staff how to follow and support your library's policies, and to empower employees to respond to or refer challenges with confidence.
  • Last updated 15 October 2013.