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The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs, and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians.

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Call for essays/book chapters: Due in 6 weeks!

  • 1.  Call for essays/book chapters: Due in 6 weeks!

    Posted Apr 09, 2022 12:10 PM

    Call for Essays 

    Contact: Shannon M. Oltmann 


     We are soliciting essays from librarians, library science faculty, and others for the new book: The fight against book bans: Perspectives from the field.  

     In the past six months, there has been a flood of book challenges and bans in public and school libraries across the U.S. Challenges have been raised by parents, legislators, educators, and others; sometimes the challenge is overcome, while in other cases, books, graphic novels, and other materials have been pulled from shelves or restricted. Many of these items feature characters and/or authors of color, characters and/or authors of the LGBTQ+ community, sex education themes, or social justice perspectives. We anticipate that these sorts of challenges will be ongoing throughout 2022, as well.  

     We are looking for a wide variety of essays that will comment on and address these challenges, from diverse perspectives. Possibilities could include:   

    • Firsthand accounts of book/materials challenges 
    • How to prepare for, address, or respond to challenges 
    • Communicating with one's community about the significance of intellectual freedom  
    • Showing the value and merit of challenged books  
    • Background on the history and context of challenges or challengers  
    • Perspectives on challenges in public or school libraries  
    • Support for those facing materials challenges  

     Together, the essays will both articulate the importance of intellectual freedom and demonstrate how to convey that significance to others in one's community with passion and wisdom, in light of the recent and ongoing spate of book challenges faced by public and school libraries.  

     The primary audience includes public librarians, school librarians, and library science faculty. Librarians in all types of positions are interested in book challenges and bans, and they will find this book engaging. Library science students will benefit from hearing the voices of librarians in conjunction with library science faculty. Library trustees and other advocates are going to be interested as well.  

     Essays should be 3000-6000 words and are due by May 20, 2022. The book will be edited by Dr. Shannon M. Oltmann (University of Kentucky) and published by Libraries Unlimited. Please send essays, or any inquiries, to Shannon Oltmann at shannon.oltmann@uky.edu. Feel free to send a draft or abstract for review, prior to the deadline.  


    Shannon Oltmann
    Associate Professor
    School of Information Science, University of Kentucky