Renew Your Support for Intellectual Freedom with Sept/Oct 2015 Issue

SeptOct15_CoverThe September/October 2015 Knowledge Quest issue is coming to your mailbox just in time for Banned Books Week and Banned Websites Awareness Day. The theme is “Intellectual Freedom–Enduring Values in a Changing World.”

Many things have changed in K-12 education and school libraries, but the issues of access and equity, filtering, challenges to library resources, protecting students’ privacy, and labeling persist. The principles of intellectual freedom are as important as ever. As new threats to minors’ right to read and seek information occur, Library Bill of Rights interpretations (such as “Internet Filtering: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights”) have been carefully crafted to offer current guidance.

Refresh your spirit and support for intellectual freedom with twelve articles in the print issue and three exclusive online articles. You’ll read ideas from new voices and long-time intellectual freedom advocates in three categories:

  • how to create a culture of intellectual freedom based on the legal framework of minors’ rights in school libraries,
  • people and resources that can help you, including an introduction to the staff at the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, and
  • advice, reports, and personal stories on intellectual freedom issues including challenges, labeling, filtering, and privacy. Of special note is the co-authored article by a retired school superintendent and former school board member who share their experiences with challenges.

ALA Council approved the ALA Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights in 1939 and The Freedom to Read statement in 1953. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom was established in 1967, and the Freedom to Read Foundation will celebrate its 40th birthday in November. Intellectual freedom has been a core value of librarians for over fifty years and has a rich history in ALA and AASL. Use this issue of KQ to renew your pledge to protect minors’ intellectual freedom and privacy in school libraries.

About the Guest Editors

AdamsheadshotHelen R. Adams previously worked as an online instructor for Mansfield (PA) University in its School Library and Information Technologies Department. She is a newly appointed member of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee Privacy Subcommittee and the American Libraries Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Knowledge Quest Editorial Board and the Ruth Toor Grant for Strong Public School Libraries Committee. She wrote the March/April 2015 Knowledge Quest article “Have Intellectual Freedom Privacy Questions? Helps Is On the Way!” Helen contributed to the ninth edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual; she wrote “Internet Filtering and Intellectual Freedom: Part 4: What Are School Libraries Doing?” and coauthored “How to Respond to Challenges and Concerns about Library Resources.” She served as AASL President 2000-2001.

IM000911.JPGTrina Magi is a library professor at the University of Vermont in Burlington where she works as a reference and instruction librarian. She is a member of the ALA Digital Content Working Group. She served as editor of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual, ninth edition, published April 2015. She has served on the intellectual freedom committees of the Vermont Library Association (chair 2006-2008), New England Library Association (chair 2012-2014), and American Library Association (2007-2011). She has also served as Vermont’s representative on ALA Council and has won numerous awards for her advocacy of civil liberties and intellectual freedom.

Read the Guest Editor column “Intellectual Freedom–Enduring Values in a Changing World.”

Knowledge Quest, Volume 44, No. 1 – Intellectual Freedom: Enduring Values in a Changing World

Table of Contents


Do Minors Have First Amendment Rights in Schools?
Theresa Chmara

Creating a Culture of Intellectual Freedom through Leadership and Advocacy
Barbara K. Stripling

Developing a Curriculum in Intellectual Freedom: What Our Students Need to Know
Jole Seroff

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom: Who We Are and How We Help Librarians
Kristin Pekoll

Newly Revised Intellectual Freedom Manual Makes It Easier to Find the Help You Need
Trina Magi

Ethics Today: Are Our Principles Still Relevant?
Martin Garnar

Standing by Their Principles: Two Librarians Who Faced Challenges
DaNae Leu and Dee Ann Venuto

Access to Information: Perspectives of a Superintendent and a School Board Member
Michael D. Moskalski and Linda L. McBride

Labeling and Rating Systems: Greater Access or Censorship?
Ann M. Martin

Filtering beyond CIPA: Consequences of and Alternatives to Overfiltering in Schools
Kristen R. Batch

To Protect and Serve
Suzanna L. Panter

Rethinking the “Restricted” Shelf
Miranda Doyle

Online Exclusives

Essential Intellectual Freedom Resources for School Librarians
Carin Bringelson

International School Librarians Count: Current Issue with Intellectual Freedom and Access to Information
Candace W. Aiani

School Librarians as Equity Warriors
Valarie Hunsinger


Technology Quest Column
School Librarians: Key to Technology Integration
Joseph Kuzo

CBC Column
Books Unchained: The Protective Power of Access to Ideas
Blythe Woolston


President’s Column
School Libraries–Conduit to Equitable Access to Information
Leslie Preddy

Guest Editor Column
Intellectual Freedom–Enduring Values in a Changing World
Helen R. Adams and Trina Magi


Author: Helen Adams

A former school librarian in Wisconsin, Helen Adams is an online senior lecturer for Antioch University-Seattle in the areas of intellectual freedom, privacy, library ethics, and copyright. A member of the AASL Knowledge Quest Advisory Board, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, and a KQ blogger, she is the author of Protecting Intellectual Freedom and Privacy in Your School Library (Libraries Unlimited, 2013) and contributor to The Many Faces of School Library Leadership (2nd edition, Libraries Unlimited, 2017). Email:

Categories: KQ Content


2 replies

  1. I just finished this issue and wanted to complement you on an excellent issue! Every article was absolutely necessary and very informative. I especially enjoyed the two librarians and principal who faced challenges. I also loved that you introduced members to our wonderful staff at the ALA.

  2. Terri,

    Thank you so much for recognizing the issue’s valuable content. I shared your comment with co-guest editor Trina Magi. We both appreciate your pointing out some of the strong features of this issue.


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