IFRT Members Community (Open)

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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.

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.

  • 1.  Farewell to Kristin Pekoll

    Posted Jul 08, 2022 03:10 PM

    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!


    Deborah Caldwell-Stone
    Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom
    American Library Association

  • 2.  RE: Farewell to Kristin Pekoll

    Posted Jul 08, 2022 08:42 PM
    Best wishes Kristin and thanks for all of the work that you've done to support intellectual freedom.

    Dr. Clem Guthro, MA, MLS, EdD
    University Librarian
    Interim Director and Publisher, University of Hawai'i Press
    University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
    Pronouns: He, him, his
    Professional blog: https://lrlacw.blogspot.com/

  • 3.  RE: Farewell to Kristin Pekoll

    Posted Jul 08, 2022 09:38 PM
    This is truly sad news. Kristin is a wonderful person and the glory of our profession.

    Jeremy B.

  • 4.  RE: Farewell to Kristin Pekoll

    Posted Jul 09, 2022 07:50 PM
    Kristin's departure is a great loss for the Office for Intellectual Freedom as well as ALA.

    I hadn't realized Kristin's time with ALA was shorter than I thought because her presence has been so constant, cordial, supportive, and warm. 

    Kristin, all of these qualities, as well as your passion, knowledge, experience, and generosity will be greatly missed. I wish you the very best in your future endeavors and thank you so much for the time and dedication you gave to us all and to ALA. Thank you!

    Ana Elisa
    Ana Elisa de Campos Salles
    ALA Executive Board
    Councilor-at-large, American Library Association
    Member, Patty Wong Presidential Advisory Committee
    she, her, hers

    2011 ALA Spectrum Scholar
    2013 ALA Emerging Leader

  • 5.  RE: Farewell to Kristin Pekoll

    Posted Jul 11, 2022 08:25 AM
    Kristin, thanks for all your great work.  It's good to know that you will continue to support libraries and librarians in a different role.  All best wishes in your new position!

    Michael Blackwell
    Director, St. Mary's County Library
    Member, IFRT

    Michael Blackwell
    St Mary's County Library

  • 6.  RE: Farewell to Kristin Pekoll

    Posted Jul 11, 2022 12:23 PM
    Oh no, this is sad news indeed! Kristin, thank you for all you've done for our profession. Also, thank you for all the help and support you have given so generously to me during my own battle with censorship. Best of everything to you!

    Amy Dodson
    Executive Director
    Fox River Valley Public Library District