Thursday, June 01, 2023

Sessions Announced for Next Week's "Banned Books and Censorship" Library 2.0 Mini-Conference

Our second Library 2.023 mini-conference: "Banned Books and Censorship: Current Intellectual Freedom Issues in the Library," will be held online (and for free) nextThursday, June 8th, 2023, from 12:00 - 3:00 pm US-Pacific Time. The accepted concurrent sessions are listed down below!

With book bans all over the news, intellectual freedom is under attack, with a specific focus on materials and programs related to or representative of marginalized communities. In this Library 2.0 mini-conference, we will examine the current trends in censorship and explore solutions for how to promote our principles in an era of increasing polarization. We will also explore the dilemmas that arise at the intersection of intellectual freedom and social justice.

Our special conference chair is Martin Garnar, editor of the 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual and past chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, who has been involved in developing ALA policy on intellectual freedom for 20 years. 

We look forward to gathering online with you for this event!

This is a free event, being held live online and also recorded.
to attend live and/or to receive the recording links afterward.
Please also join this Library 2.0 network to be kept updated on this and future events. 

Everyone is invited to participate in our Library 2.0 conference events, which are designed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among information professionals worldwide. Each three-hour event consists of a keynote panel, 10-15 crowd-sourced thirty-minute presentations, and a closing keynote. 

Participants are encouraged to use #library2023 and #bannedbookscensorship on their social media posts about the event.


Dr. Martin Garnar
Director of the Amherst College Library

Martin Garnar, PhD, is director of the Amherst College Library and editor of the 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual. His professional activities and speaking schedule reflect a profound inability to say no. A native New Yorker, Martin lives in western Massachusetts with his husband Mark and their impossibly cute miniature dachshunds.



Andrea Jamison, PhD (@achitownj)
Assistant Professor of Librarianship at Illinois State University

Dr. Andrea Jamison is an Assistant Professor of Librarianship at Illinois State University. Professor Jamison has more than 17 years of experience working in the field of education and libraries. She speaks internationally on library inclusivity, intellectual freedom, and the interplay of race, power, and privilege in children’s books. Her research involves examining equity issues in library services and the role that libraries play in either perpetuating or mitigating systems of inequity.

Professor Jamison has conducted content analyses on hundreds of collection development policies to determine how policies address diversity and how they align with ALA’s Bill of Rights. She has written articles on these topics for Knowledge Quest, American Libraries Magazine, The Library Assessment Conference, and ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom Blog. Her book, Decentering Whiteness in Libraries: A Framework for Inclusive Collection Management Practices, is part of Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. The book is available for preorder and will be released in October of 2023.

Professor Jamison received her Master of Teaching from Concordia University and her Master of Library Science and Ph.D. in Information Studies from Dominican University School of Library and Information Science in River Forest, Illinois. Currently, she is the immediate past chair for ALA’s Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable, which promotes multiculturalism in librarianship, and a library ambassador for Lee and Low Books. She also chaired the 2018 working group that revised ALA’s Library Bill of Rights for Diverse Library Collections.

Lesliediana Jones
Associate Director, Harvard Law School Library

Lesliediana Jones transitioned to the profession of librarianship from a career as an attorney. She has been a librarian for more than two decades. She has worked for a few law school libraries, including Northwestern School of Law in Chicago, The George Washington School of Law and currently Harvard Law School. Her activism in the profession has been to be a member of professional associations and serve on various committees. She is a member of the American Association of Law LIbraries and the American Library Association (ALA). Currently she is the chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee for ALA
Emily Knox (@ejmknox)
University of Illinois

Emily is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include information access and intellectual freedom and censorship. She is a member of the Mapping Information Access research team.

Her most recent book Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (ALA Neal-Schuman) won the 2023 Eli M. Oboler Prize for best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. Her previous book, Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield) is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. Emily’s articles have been published in the Library Quarterly, Library and Information Science Research, and the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.

Emily serves on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship. She is also editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.

Emily received her PhD from the doctoral program at the Rutgers University School of Communication & Information.
Dr. Shannon M. Oltmann
Associate Professor, School of Information Science, University of Kentucky

Shannon M. Oltmann is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Science at the University of Kentucky. She obtained her Ph.D. from Indiana University. Her research interests include information ethics, censorship, intellectual freedom, public libraries, privacy, and qualitative research methods. Oltmann is the past editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy and Associate Editor of Library Quarterly. She wrote the book Practicing Intellectual Freedom in Libraries, and edited The Fight Against Book Bans: Perspectives from the Field, which will be released in June 2023. Oltmann’s work has been funded by the American Library Association and the Institute of Museum & Library Services. She has presented her research at numerous academic and professional conferences and published widely.
Sophia Sotilleo
Dean of the Library, Thurgood Marshall Library, Bowie State University

Sophia Sotilleo is the Dean of the Thurgood Marshall Library at Bowie State University. The first Historically Black College in the state of Maryland. Mrs. Sotilleo is currently serving as the Vice President of the Freedom to Read Foundation and an ALA Executive Board Member. Her current area of research and interest is access, advocacy, and leadership in the field of librarianship. Along with having a passion for introducing, and sharing information about libraries to everyone she meets, she is passionate about the opportunity to empower and encourage library colleagues and supporters.

ACCEPTED CONCURRENT SESSIONS (the conference session times will be posted next week and emailed to registrants):

  • A Call to Action: responding to organized book challenges & their role in a systematic threat to democracy: Dee Ann Venuto, Media Center Coordinator, Rancocas Valley Regional High School (Link to details)
  • Get Ready, Stay Ready: A Community Action Toolkit: Valerie Byrd Fort, Instructor, University of South Carolina | April Dawkins, Assistant Professor, UNC Greensboro (Link to details)
  • How Can Feminism Help Librarians Confront Authoritarianism in the Twenty-First Century?: Frieda Afary, Philosophy M.A., M.L.I.S., public librarian and author (Link to details)
  • Libraries and the First Amendment: Book Bans, Meeting Rooms, First Amendment Audits and More: Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director, American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom (Link to details)
  • Putting the FREE in FREEdom to Read: Star Bradley, Research and Instruction Librarian, Montana State University Library (Link to details)
  • Real world policy and messaging issues from the trenches: Peter Bromberg, Associate Director, EveryLibrary (Link to details)
  • Reinforcing Institutional Resiliency Through Multidimensional Library Neutrality: Adapting Theoretical Foundations from Political Science and Urban Planning: Michael Dudley, University of Winnipeg | John Wright, University of Calgary (Link to details)
  • Supporting TX Librarians Facing Materials Challenges: Dorcas Hand, School Library and Intellectual Freedom Advocate, Students Need Libraries in HISD (Link to details)
  • The Politics of Nativist Censorship Efforts: Today’s Right Wing “Culture War” and Lessons from Previous Historical Movements: Andrew B. Wertheimer, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Library and Information Science, Library and Information Science Program, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Link to details)
  • This is the Way: Intellectual Freedom Outreach at Pop Culture Conventions: Glen J. Benedict, Access Services Librarian, University of the District of Columbia (Link to details)
  • Virginia: a Case Study of Race and Sexuality as Recurring Factors in the History of Book Banning: Keith Weimer, Librarian for History and Religious Studies, University of Virginia Library (Link to details)
  • Library-organized events and progressive/conservative polarization: the case for liberal library programming: Edward Remus, Assistant Professor and Social Sciences Librarian, Northeastern Illinois University Libraries (Link to details)

This is a free event, being held live online and also recorded.
to attend live and/or to receive the recording links afterward.
Please also join this Library 2.0 network to be kept updated on this and future events. 


The School of Information at San José State University is the founding conference sponsor. Please register as a member of the Library 2.0 network to be kept informed of future events. Recordings from previous years are available under the Archives tab at Library 2.0 and at the Library 2.0 YouTube channel.


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