K-12 Literacy Conference

Closing Keynote – Freedom To Read Foundation

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The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association.  FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect – and individuals to access – information.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees all individuals the right to express their ideas without governmental interference, and to read and listen to the ideas of others. The Freedom to Read Foundation was established to promote and defend this right; to foster libraries as institutions wherein every individual’s First Amendment freedoms are fulfilled; and to support the right of libraries to include in their collections and make available any work which they may legally acquire.

Founded in 1969, the Freedom to Read Foundation was the American Library Association’s response to its members’ interest in having adequate means to support and defend librarians whose positions are jeopardized because of their resistance to abridgments of the First Amendment; and to set legal precedent for the freedom to read on behalf of all the people.

Joyce McIntosh is the Assistant Program Director for the Freedom to Read Foundation. She has worked at the intersection of intellectual freedom, communication, and the First Amendment for three decades. Her background and education in journalism and library and information science have led her to work for newspapers, non-profits, and for the last two decades in libraries. She worked in a public library outside of Chicago, IL providing reference, programming, outreach, and assistive technology before joining FTRF.  With FTRF and the American Library Association her work has focused on education about the First Amendment and censorship, and helping librarians navigate challenges in their school and public libraries.

You can reach the Freedom to Read Foundation at their website ftrf.org, at freedom_to_read_foundation (include underscores!) on Instagram, and @FTRF on X (formerly Twitter).


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