You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close
Search
Join TLA

Intellectual Freedom Committee

Promoting intellectual freedom.

Welcome to the Texas Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee page!

Do you:

  • have a question about an intellectual freedom issue?
  • need help with a materials challenge in your library?
  • want to get involved in the work of our committee?
  • need to know where to find resources for training in intellectual freedom issues?

If so, please contact the 2019-2020 Chair of the IFC, Douglas Campbell.  Our committee members are passionate about our profession’s Library Bill of Rights and are happy to offer guidance when needed.

The Texas Library Association (TLA) holds that the freedom to read is a corollary of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press. Freedom of choice in selecting materials is a necessary safeguard to the freedom to read and shall be protected against irresponsible attempts by self-appointed censors to abridge it. TLA believes that citizens shall have the right to free inquiry and the equally important right of forming their own opinions.  It is of the utmost importance to the continued existence of democracy that freedom of the press, in all forms of public communication, be defended and preserved.

The purpose of the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) is to increase attention to this issue and encourage social responsibility. The committee educates and offers guidance to members of the association on these issues and supports efforts to combat censorship in all forms.

While TLA cannot provide legal counsel or direct funding to defend challenged materials, it does, through this committee, offer the expertise of its committee members to defend established intellectual freedom principles.

Reporting Censorship

To meet its charge to “respond on behalf of libraries and librarians in Texas who are challenged in protecting the access to materials,” the committee needs to know about such incidents. Any library employee, Friend, or trustee who knows of a complaint or challenge is encouraged to contact the chair of the TLA IFC and report such incidents to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.  You may also report these incidents anonymously.  You can also contact the TLA office (512-328-1518) for the current IFC chair’s contact information.

 

2019-2020
Intellectual Freedom Committee Members

Chair: Douglas Campbell
Past Chair: Courtney Kincaid
Maggie Bootman
Kimberly Brown
Amanda Cargile
Kelly Clute
Brooke King
Margaret Neill
Stephanie Russell
Joanna Stone
Susan Strickland
Robin Swaringen

Sam G. Whitten Intellectual Freedom Award

The Sam J. Whitten Intellectual Freedom Award will be awarded annually to an individual or organization in the library community who actively promotes intellectual freedom in Texas.

Anyone who is actively promoting intellectual freedom in Texas is eligible for the Sam J. Whitten Intellectual Freedom Award. Intellectual freedom is defined by the American Library Association as “the freedom to express one’s beliefs or ideas through any mode of communication and the right of unrestricted access to all information and ideas regardless of the medium of communication used.”

Nominees will be judged:

  • on the role they have played in actively promoting intellectual freedom in their sphere of influence and beyond;
  • on the degree to which they exemplify the spirit of intellectual freedom; and
  • on the impact that their efforts to promote intellectual freedom have made.

Deadline to apply is February 28.

Now accepting nominations


Click here to view past Intellectual Freedom Award recipients

 

The contents of this website are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The contents of the website and the posting and viewing of the information on this website should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.

Join or Renew Your TLA Membership!

 

Latest News
View all News

Between the Lines: December Member Spotlight

Between the Lines: Member Spotlight

Lisa Hernandez, Alternative High School Librarian, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Elvis J. Ballew College, Career & Technology Academy What inspired you to become a librarian? My husband Smiley inspired me to become a school librarian. During my four years as a teacher, Smiley and I started our family. After having two children (ages sixteen months and […]

Read More

2020 Texas Topaz Reading List Announced

TLA News, TLA Reading Lists

The world of nonfiction is our world. Unlike fictional books which may transport us to imagined realms or take us far into the future, nonfiction books seek to bring clarity and share knowledge about the world we live in – its past, its present, its people and the struggles and triumphs they experience. In nonfiction, […]

Read More