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Let Freedom Read: How to Take a Stand for Intellectual Freedom and Support Fellow Library Workers in Illinois and Across the Nation In-Person

Intellectual freedom is the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas. U.S. library workers ensure that Free People Read Freely in our democracy by upholding the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement. However, we are seeing attacks on intellectual freedom continue to escalate, not only through the rise of local material challenges by individuals and groups, but also through political pressure and through adverse state legislation that limits the work of librarians and causes fear for their job security and even criminal complaints.

In this webinar, learn the current state of the nation on these issues and reflect on the progress happening in Illinois with new legislation HB2789. Janice Del Negro and Betsy Gomez will discuss ways your institutions and you personally can take a stand for intellectual freedom as well as support your library colleagues and communities facing heightened censorship pressures.


Janice Del Negro, PhD, is a Professor at the School of Information Studies at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, where she teaches all things youth services related, including Materials for Young Adults, Fairy Tale Fantasy and Contemporary Media, and Storytelling. Her book, Folktales Aloud: Practical Advice for Playful Storytelling, was awarded a Storytelling World Resource Award in 2015. Her subsequent title, Engaging Teens with Story: How to Inspire and Educate Youth with Storytelling (With Melanie Kimball, PhD, 2017) was named SLC/ARBA’s “Best Professional Resource for School or Youth Librarians.” In 2017 Del Negro received the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award, “presented to artists who are recognized by their peers to be master storytellers who set the standards for excellence and have demonstrated, over a significant period of time, a commitment and dedication to the art of storytelling.” Her most recent publication is the new edition of the classic storytelling text, Storytelling Art & Technique (ABC/CLIO, 2021) which received the 2022 Storytelling World Resource Award.

Betsy Gomez, Assistant Director of Communications & Outreach, is a program officer for ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, coordinator for Unite Against Book Bans and the Banned Books Week Coalition, and former coalition and editorial director for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, an advocacy organization dedicated to the First Amendment rights of the comics community. Gomez edited and designed the award-winning publication CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics, which profiles more than 60 groundbreaking women who expanded the expressive possibilities of the comics medium. With more than a decade of professional experience defending intellectual freedom, Gomez also has an extensive background in educational publishing as a content developer and editor for several companies, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson Education.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
2:00pm - 3:30pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Online - At Your Computer
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