Today it’s my sad task to share the news that Kristin Pekoll will be leaving ALA on July 15. I know that she will be deeply, deeply missed by us on the OIF Team, by her other ALA colleagues, and by the uncounted librarians who she’s assisted for the past eight years.
Kristin joined OIF as its assistant director in September 2014 after leaving her post as the YA librarian in West Bend, Wisconsin, where she stood up to, and ultimately defeated, a censor’s attempt to remove 70+ LGBTQIA+ books from the YA collection (you can read more about her life-changing experience at her guest post for the I Love Libraries blog.) She stepped in immediately to become a guide, mentor, and support for library workers facing challenges to the books, displays, and programs in their libraries, helping them to fend off the censors and preserve their library users’ right to read. She’s also provided ongoing and invaluable support to member groups and member leaders engaged in defending intellectual freedom, including the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable, the Committee on Professional Ethics, the State Intellectual Freedom Network, the Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Privacy Subcommittee. Their work is the richer for her contributions.
In her copious spare time (!) she authored Beyond Banned Books: Defending Intellectual Freedom throughout Your Library published by ALA Editions in 2019 and kept track of, and catalogued, the challenge reports that are the foundation of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books list.
And we cannot forget that’s she’s persevered all these years as a loyal and devoted Green Bay Packers fan while living deep in the middle of Chicago Bears territory.
I cannot say enough about Kristin’s important contributions to the work of the office and to the practice of librarianship. We wish her all the best as she embarks on her newest adventure.
Thank you, Kristin!
Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom
American Library Associationdstone@ala.org