Category Archives: Intellectual Freedom

New Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity

So glad about this new award. Thank you, Lemony Snicket!

From the American Library Association:

SnicketPrizeThe American Library Association (ALA) Council, at a Tuesday session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, approved the new Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity.

The award, which ALA intends to present at its Annual Conference in Las Vegas, recognizes a librarian who “has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact.” It will be given annually to a deserving librarian. If a suitable candidate is not found, the award will not be presented that year.

The $3,000 prize will be given from Snicket’s “disreputable gains, along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, as well as a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing.”

Lemony Snicket is the pen name of American novelist Daniel Handler, who has written several highly acclaimed children’s books. The books often feature the author appearing as a fictional character, a writer falsely accused of crimes and sought by his enemies as well as the police.

Snicket himself believes that, in much the same spirit, librarians have suffered enough. Therefore, he has established the annual prize honoring a librarian who has overcome adversity

According to Snicket, it is his hope that, “The Snicket Prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them.”

About his sponsorship of the award, Snicket said, “This seems like a better way to channel money to librarians than my previous strategy, which was incurring exorbitant late fees.”


FAIFE sessions @ IFLA 2012 Congress, Helsinki

Sharing information about FAIFE programs @ IFLA Congress in Helsinki- as received.

We warmly invite you to attend to FAIFE activities and sessions in IFLA 2012 Conference in Helsinki

This year FAIFE offers 2 conference sessions and an open and public event, called Speakers’ Corner at Sanoma House in Helsinki City Center.

The 1st FAIFE Session starts on Sunday right after Opening session. The topics in this session focus on tightening controls on Internet – and our possibilities to raise awareness, protect users and become change agents in this setting. In the end of the session we take up some examples of Freedom of Information -projects for libraries.
We are hoping to see you all in Helsinki at our sessions!

Comments for the session speeches can be delivered via Twitter: #wlic2012


All sessions will be broadcasted on the net by the Finnish Library Web TV and Radio, –

Detailed descriptions of FAIFE session programs starting from Sunday enclosed.

Our themes as usual, are cheeky ones beginning with… 

Sunday 12th August 13.45-15.45

 Sleepwalking into a Control Society

Location: Session room 1

Introduction by Kai Ekholm, Chair of FAIFE
Keynote speech: Internet is dead by Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor
New media control in Europe by Erkan Saka, professor (Questions from the audience by Twitter etc.)
Code of Ethics by Paul Sturges, professor
FAIFE update by Kai Ekholm and Päivikki Karhula
Maker’s mark:
The successful FAIFE Advent calendar, Panu Somerma, Entresse library
FAIFE Book Club, Jonathan Kelley, ALA
ALA and most banned books in USA 2011-2, Barbara Jones


Our second session is a joint CLM/FAIFE session

Master of contents or How to win the battle over freedom in cyberspace?  

Wednesday, 15th Aug. 2012 09:30 – 12:45

This year we have several distinguished speakers and our focus is on current and hot topics including trends of privatization, privacy and copyright battles on the Internet.

Our keynote speakers Siva Vaidhyanathan and Gus Hosein are leading experts in their fields.

Siva Vaidhyanathan is a professor of Media studies and Law at the University of Virginia andan author of “Googlization of Everything”. He is a developer of a concept of Critical Information Studies binding together cultural and political perspectives on information. Siva is also a well known as an entertaining and informative speaker on media and cultural issues. He is a contributor in various periodicals such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and He has been called as ‎“one of academe’s best-known scholars of intellectual property and its role in contemporary culture.”
Gus Hosein brings in the perspective of privacy on the net. He has PhD in Law from University of London and he works currently as an Executive Director of Privacy International. Gus has written broadly about privacy and civil liberties from the perspectives of law and technology. Also, he has advised a number of international organizations, companies, and civil society organizations around these issues.

This session offers you broad and shaking views on the discussion of the Freedom of Information.

Don’t miss this session!


Master of contents or How to win the battle over freedom in cyberspace? 

Session organized by: Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) with Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM)

15 August 2012 09:30 – 12:45

Location: Session Room 1


Privatization of cyberspace – case Google

Siva Vaidhyanathan, Media Studies and Law, University of Virginia, USA


Privacy, data surveillance and free speech in the age of Big Data

Gus Hosein, Privacy International, UK


Internet censorship in context: the shape of things to come

Päivikki Karhula, University of Tampere, School of Information Sciences, Finland


Lawful access legislation, its risks and why libraries must care

Jeannie Bail, Queen Elizabeth II Library & Brent Roe, Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Canada
Comment speech:

Shaked Spiers, Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Germany

The copyright cloud over our national collections:  As Australia rolls out the National Broadband Network, how the Australian copyright regime could restrict access to knowledge, culture and research on the high speed network, and lessons to be learnt in the global context

Ellen Broad, Australian Digital Alliance, Australia
Comment speech:

Harald Müller, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Library


Finally, we have a totally new format called
Speaker’s corner

Wednesday, 15th Aug. 2012 13:00 – 15:00

FAIFE is bringing the hottest issues to of Internet Freedom to the Sanoma House Media Piazza in a City Center of Helsinki. This is an open and public event. This is a new approach of FAIFE and IFLA.
Be there! Or you will regret…

 FAIFE Speakers’ Corner


15th Aug. 2012 at 13:00-15:00, Sanoma House, Media Piazza

Located in Helsinki City Center very close to the Central Railway Station.
SESSION I 13:00 –

This is how you are being controlled today!

Chair: Kai Ekholm
Guests: Loida Garcia Febo, FAIFE Expert Resource Person
SESSION II 13:35 –

They own Your Data! What are you going to do?
Chair: Päivikki Karhula
Guest: Hanna Nikkanen, a prize winning journalist and activist

Is Copyright really collapsing?

Chair: Stuart Hamilton
Guest: Anna Troberg, President of the Swedish Pirate Party


Kai Ekholm,
FAIFE Committee, chair
Director of the National Library of Finland

Library Day in the Life – Loida Day 2: Answering Your Emails

Today was a particularly good day for communicating with colleagues.  I started the day emailing with librarians and students from Europe to identify accommodations for others attending an international library conference. During the day I also answered emails from the US and various regions of the world. In general, the emails were about strategies to serve multicultural populations, how to become involved in international librarianship and how to address issues related to access to information and intellectual freedom when a county and a library administration pose barriers. Yes, I will answer Your emails! We will work together to find the answers You need, coordinate, plan, develop, create!

Day in the Life- Day 3: Intellectual Freedom

Today the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom published a website including all the videos in the IFRT Monthly Video Series! My day ends with a great note. I started the video series on July 2010 to promote Intellectual Freedom and the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table. I am thrilled to know that LIS programs are using the videos to teach Intellectual Freedom. Cheers!

My vision for this video series is to put Intellectual Freedom and Human Rights on the agenda of library workers. As chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table, I would like every ALA member to know more about the work we engage in and the reasons for it. I find that videos are a powerful tool to accomplish this task. Loida

Day in the Life – Loida Day 2: Access to information

It is inspiring to see how libraries continue to host workshops to promote access to information and services for all customers. For instance, today I attended a workshop with representatives from the  ALA GLBT Round Table and the New York City Commission for LGBTQ Runway and Homeless Youth. Both organizations provided many resources. One of them is a website to know more about GLBTQ books, the ALA Rainbow Project – Recommended GLTBQ Books for Young Readers. Good list by the ALA GLBT RT.

NYC Zine Fest

Zines are one of the most effective ways of expression. That’s what I think.

A Zine is a “self-published magazine of sorts that can cover a wide variety of topics- pretty much anything the person who is creating it is interested in can be the subject matter of the zine,” said Celia Perez , librarian at the Harold Washington College and a zine author herself, when I asked her what was a zine. 
More information about zines and the NYC Zine Fest on my new video including some of the hottest zine collections in the nation nicely described by Jenna Freedman, Zine Librarian at Barnard College.

Loida Time!

ALA/ Intellectual Freedom Round Table Report

IFRTReportThe new issue of the ALA/IFRT Report is out. It includes a list of Intellectual Freedom events at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, a message from the current IFRT Chair, a report from the IFRT Councilor, and an update about IFLA/FAIFE activities. Check it out!

P.S. Kudos to David Hurley, Editor IFRT Report.

Loida Garcia-Febo elected Chair Elect of ALA/ Intellectual Freedom Round Table

Loida_USEmbassyMEX_8I am honored and delighted to have been elected as the Vice Chair/ Chair Elect of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table for 2009-2010 (Chair on 2010-2011). Complete results for the 2009 ALA Elections here.

This election represents various firsts: first Latin@, seasoned new librarian and young woman to be ALA/IFRT Chair.

This puertorriqueña kissed by the sun, dance-lover, and Intellectual Freedom fighter at heart would like to thank my ALA colleagues for this. I am still very much committed to continue developing ways to provide access to information to all people in our communities.

Remembering Judith Krug

judith_krug_releaseToday my colleagues from the American Library Association (ALA) and Intellectual Freedom units are attending services in Chicago in memoriam of Judith Krug.

I first met Judith at an ALA program about challenged books and what to do in such situations. I was forever impacted by her strong presence and passionate eloquence. She always had a big smile on her face and was quick to respond with precise words. I admired her wealth of knowledge and her decisive nature. Judith was a dame, a lady in every sense of the word. It always impressed me how stylish and finely dress she always was.
Judith was an amazing friend of REFORMA. We were fortunate to coordinate programs to discuss Spanish-language challenged books with her. She clearly expressed her support and fierce advocacy for immigrants. I will miss Judith. She was a strong and respected advocate for intellectual freedom and freedom of information for all.

Loida Garcia-Febo
REFORMA President Elect

Hot News from IFLA/ FAIFE

Last week the IFLA FAIFE Committee met in The Hague and once again I had the opportunity to see colleagues from around the globe.  Croatia, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Russian, the UK and the USA were represented. FAIFE core trainers (of which I am one) dedicated two days to train colleagues on how to train librarians on access to information on the Internet and HIV/AIDS using learning materials developed by FAIFE.  New training materials about Transparency were presented as well.  

FAIFE has new and big plans for 2009 and they are all truly exciting. I can say that I will be working with colleagues from Mexico on a year-long project in Peru. Other colleagues will work on similar projects in Russia, Nigeria and the Philippines. FAIFE trainings have become models for various types of initiatives and a number of projects are being developed following the same structure of our trainings. (I will share more about the projects as we visit countries and projects materialize.)

NEW!!!   Don’t miss FAIFE events at the 2009 World Library and Information Congress in Italy:

Pre-conference in Rome titled Religion, Intellectual Freedom and Libraries. I can’t wait!

Programming for the Congress in Milan includes collaboration with CLM to present a program about Internet Governance, and the FAIFE forum which has proven to be an effective way to discuss hot IF topics.

FAIFE events at the World Library and Information Congress in Milan promise to be exciting and to generate interesting discussions. Make a note of it because you can’t miss them!