Highly Illogical: Understanding Current and Emerging Challenges to Intellectual Freedom

Intellectual freedom conversations tend to center around banned books and censorship but often miss the underpinning reasons behind these drastic measures. Providing free and open access to information is a key role of libraries, and the intellectual freedom issues libraries face today come in many forms beyond book challenges. The Intellectual Freedom committee will present a hybrid panel/roundtable discussion. The panelists will present on special topics related to intellectual freedom. During the roundtable discussions, attendees will explore the intersection of intellectual freedom and social justice intersect and examine their role in supporting FLA’s commitment to supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and access for our communities and in the profession. The committee will facilitate breakout sessions where librarians can focus on the key issues of interest to them, such as how to handle display challenges, how to craft policy to address potential issues, and how to field objections to programming decisions.


Dr. Bryan Cooper, MLIS PhD
Florida International University

Bryan Cooper is Associate Dean for Engagement & Innovation at the FIU Libraries. He has served as past-Chair of the FLA Intellectual Freedom Committee, and published in and served as reviewer for the Journal of Intellectual Freedom & Privacy.

Martin L. Garnar, PhD, MLIS
Amherst College

Martin Garnar, PhD, is director of the Amherst College Library and editor of the 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual. His professional activities and speaking schedule reflect a profound inability to say no. A native New Yorker, Martin lives in western Massachusetts with his husband Mark and their impossibly cute miniature dachshunds.

Maggie Josephsen
Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME)

Maggie Josephsen is the media specialist at Harmony High School since opening the school in 2004. Currently serving as the Intellectual Freedom Committee chair for the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME), she has also served on other state committees, including two terms as a Florida Teens Read Award selection committee member. Ms. Josephsen was selected Secondary Media Specialist of the Year for Osceola County in 2017 and Teacher of the Year for Harmony High in 2018. Additionally, she is a past President of the Osceola County School Librarians' Association.

Stephanie Miller
Jacksonville Public Library

Stephanie Miller is the Senior Manager for Collection Development for the Jacksonville Public Library. During her first decade with JPL, she focused primarily on helping connect Children and Teens to materials “just right” for them. Now, she actively oversees curating the collection to meet the needs of the Jacksonville community and leads the team that reviews customer Requests for Reconsideration of materials.