FTRF, GSLIS to collaborate on intellectual freedom course

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and GSLIS are pleased to announce a partnership to offer an online graduate-level course on intellectual freedom for library and information science students around the country. The course, to be taught by GSLIS professor Emily Knox, is the first education-related project of FTRF’s Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.

“Intellectual Freedom and Censorship” will be held August 26–October 10, 2014, and is open to any student enrolled in an LIS program. Those at Illinois and other institutions in the WISE consortium are able to register via the WISE system until April 20. For those at non-WISE institutions, please contact Tonyia Tidline, GSLIS director of professional development, at (217) 244-2945. Additional information can be found on the FTRF website.

Each student who takes the course will be provided by FTRF a copy of the book True Stories of Censorship in America’s Libraries. In addition, staff and volunteers from FTRF will lend their expertise as guest speakers, and videos and other materials created for the course will be available on FTRF’s Krug Fund Education Project website.

“We’re thrilled to enter into this partnership with the University of Illinois,” said FTRF Executive Director Barbara M. Jones. “GSLIS recently was named the top-ranked library school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and for good reason. Its scholarship on intellectual freedom issues is unmatched. We’re particularly looking forward to working with Emily Knox, who has quickly established herself as a leading expert in the field.”

Jones continued, “One of the proudest moments of Judith Krug’s career was receiving her honorary doctorate from Illinois in 2005. The archives of FTRF and ALA, including many of Judith’s writings and recorded speaking engagements, are housed at Illinois. It is therefore appropriate that GSLIS host the inaugural FTRF/Illinois course.”

“I’m excited about partnering with FTRF for this course as the organization’s archives and membership provide rich material for understanding the role of censorship in our society,” said Emily Knox. “We will explore a range of topics in the class from the historical roots of intellectual freedom to pro- and anti-censorship arguments, as well as learn practical strategies for supporting intellectual freedom in libraries and other institutional settings.”

The Freedom to Read Foundation is a First Amendment legal defense and education organization affiliated with the American Library Association. In 2009, following the death of its founding executive director Judith Krug, FTRF created the Judith Krug Memorial Fund. The Krug Fund has two purposes: to support Banned Books Week via event grants to organizations, and to provide intellectual freedom education. For more information on the Krug Fund, or to make a donation to support its work, please visit the FTRF website.

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