The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs, and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians.
The IFRT Members Community group is the central hub for discussion, library and events. It is visible to all ALA members but only IFRT members can participate in the conversation.
Learn more about IFRT on the ALA website2019-2022 Strategic PlanIFRT Leader HandbookFacebookTwitter#IntellectualFreedom
Many universities and professional organizations now qualify their support for freedom: free speech, they say, so long as nobody feels offended or excluded; free speech, so long as it does not challenge institutionally approved narratives and conceptions of social justice; free speech, but only within narrow credentialed boundaries.
These restrictions are counterproductive, even to their goal of advancing a particular ideology. People infer from censorship a desire to protect lies from being exposed. Historically, censorship has supported monstrous regimes and their ideologies. Bad ideas are only defeated by argument and persuasion, not by suppression. True justice and freedom cannot exist without each other.
A boilerplate generic defense of free speech does little good if, at the same time, university administrators conduct investigations in secret, without due process and based on anonymous complaints and if administrators publicly ostracize the victim to all potential future employers. Boards of trustees, alumni organizations, donors, government granting agencies and other institutional stakeholders likewise fail to uphold the principles of academic freedom.
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