Free For All
New Yorkers for Intellectual Freedom

We inform, educate, and activate library workers and library advocates across New York State about the rise of intellectual freedom challenges.

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What is an Intellectual Freedom Challenge?

An intellectual freedom challenge is a situation where the access to or expression of ideas, information, or materials is contested or restricted due to censorship.

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Book Bans

Book bans often begin as a materials challenge, in which a person or group attempts to remove or restrict materials from a library collection or a curriculum.

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Program Challenges

Library program challenges involve attempts to restrict or suppress certain content or topics featured in library events, workshops, or presentations.

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Book Display Challenges

Book display challenges in public and school libraries occur as a result of groups or individuals demanding the removal of certain books from public view.

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What Can You Do

We all have a role to play in protecting intellectual freedom. Every action, no matter how small, contributes to the collective effort of safeguarding intellectual freedom and ensuring that diverse ideas and voices continue to thrive.

Library Staff & Board Members

Librarians support intellectual freedom by providing access to a wide range of information and diverse viewpoints, resisting censorship attempts, promoting privacy and confidentiality, defending the right to read, and offering resources and programming that encourage critical thinking and exploration.

Community Members

Community members play an important role in advocating for freedom of speech and expression by engaging in open discussions and campaigns to challenge restrictive policies and protect democratic values.

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ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom

Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.

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The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression’s mission is to defend and sustain the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought — the most essential qualities of liberty. FIRE educates Americans about the importance of these inalienable rights, promotes a culture of respect for these rights, and provides the means to preserve them.

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PEN America

PEN America tracks all book bans in libraries and classrooms across the U.S. in their Index of School Book Bans, updated for the 2022-2023 school year.

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Comic Book Legal Defense Fund  

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals.

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Who We Are

Free For All: New Yorkers for Intellectual Freedom consists of librarians, library workers, library friends, library trustees, and those who utilize and are advocates for their libraries across New York State. Together, we are dedicated to ensuring our libraries and librarians are supported and are prepared for any intellectual freedom challenges that may come their way.

You may also want to learn more about the New Yorkers for Better Libraries Political Action Committee, which allows library supporters in New York to play a role in electing to state offices people who are willing to commit their full support to libraries.

Contact Us

Free For All: New Yorkers for Intellectual Freedom is dedicated to ensuring libraries and library workers are supported and prepared for any intellectual freedom challenges they may experience.

We want to hear from you! Please use the form to contact us and someone from the FFANY team will get back to you.

info@freeforallny.org

*These numbers are from the American Library Association in their 2023 National Report