Don't Gamble with a Core Value: New Intellectual Freedom Issues and the Role of Florida Librarians

During this 90 minute session, members of the IFC committee will provide an overview of the the ALA Bill of Rights, discuss professional ethics and values related to intellectual freedom, share best practices regarding confidentiality and handling law enforcement inquiries as well as present information about current challenges and other efforts to restrict access in schools and libraries.Attendees will learn about the activities of the IFC Committee and what librarians can do to protect the rights of patrons.



Leadership and Professional Development


Bryan Cooper, Associate Librarian and Associate Dean, FIU, Florida International University

Bryan Cooper is past-chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Florida Library Association, and co-author of “We’ve Come a Long Way (Baby)! Or Have We? Evolving Intellectual Freedom Issues in the United States and Florida” – in the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy (JIFP). He has served as an article reviewer for the JIFP and on ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom Working Groups – including the Prisoners Right to Read Interpretation and the Access to Resources & Services for Minors Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. He holds an MLIS from the University of South Florida, MA in History and PhD in Interdepartmental (American) Studies from the University of Miami. He is an Associate Dean in the Florida International University Libraries, and leads a team developing InformUs – a platform in beta test for empowering grass-roots and other volunteers to report, map and spread word of censorship and related occurrences, at

Karen Mahnk, Lake Park Public Library

Karen Mahnk has lived in Florida for over forty years. She earned a Master’s degree in Library Science from Florida State University. Her career includes serving as Law Librarian for several prominent Miami law firms; she also served as a researcher for the Dade County Public Defender’s office before relocating to Palm Beach County. She served the Town of Lake Park’s library beginning in 2003 and has been the Library Director since 2010.


Michael T. Sullivan, Pablo Creek Region, Jacksonville Public Library, Region Manager

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