Freedom of Reading Foundation 2022 Election Results
CHICAGO-The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), a nonprofit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association dedicated to protecting and advocating for everyone’s First Amendment right to read, has concluded its election Annually on May 1, 2022. Members of the FTRF elected four new members to its Board of Directors and re-elected one outgoing Board member for a two-year term commencing June 23, 2022. Since 1969, Trustees, FTRF staff and members have worked to protect First Amendment rights through education, litigation, and advocacy.
“As Americans, we cannot take our First Amendment rights for granted. Our right to free speech and our right to read are challenged daily in every region of the United States. We welcome the strong leaders who have been elected to the FTRF Board of Directors and join them in supporting, defending and defending our First Amendment rights and ensuring intellectual freedom, equitable access and freedom to read. for all members of our communities,” said current FTRF President Barbara Stripling.
Newly elected directors include:
Jarrett Dapier is new to the board of the Freedom to Read Foundation, but has volunteered as a speaker for their graduate course work for several years. “I am interested in serving on the FTRF Board of Directors because of the vital and crucial work this body does to protect the right of all Americans to read. This right is now under widespread assault from various groups all working in concert to control schools, teachers and librarians – all professionals trained to provide students with accurate information about our world, its history and his art. I am a tireless defender of freedom of expression and the right to read and I do not let things go easy, especially when the rights of young people are violated,” said Dapier. Dapier has worked at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois on the First Amendment Rights Project, and since 2009 at public libraries where he has adapted and produced stories about censorship on stage with teen artists. . He is also the author of the picture book Mr. Watson’s Chickens, which is currently being challenged for removal to a public library in Spanish Fort, Alabama.
Jennifer Griswold is director of the Pflugerville Public Library in Pflugerville, Texas. She ran for a seat on the board to challenge censorship both locally and nationally. She has worked at Pflugerville since 2006 as a reference librarian, assistant director, and for the past six years as director of the library. She also has a background in news research and academic librarianship. In 2018, Griswold received the honor of Texas Librarian of the Year and is currently a member of the Texas Library Association’s Queers and Allies Roundtable; the Ethnic and Multicultural Exchange Roundtable, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Roundtable, and liaison with the staff of the Pflugerville Equity Commission.
“Texas libraries are on the front line in the battle against censorship. Area directors meet to discuss the issue, those who are struggling and those who are watching each other out of fear. I believe I can offer a unique perspective not only of myself, but also of my colleagues who are involved in active challenges,” Griswold said.
Pat Scales is a retired middle and high school librarian and former administrator of the FTRF.
“Book censorship is at epidemic levels and America’s youth are the target. The FTRF promotes and defends the right of students to read, but now, more than ever, young people need to be guided and taught to defend themselves. Proactively involving young people in advocating for their First Amendment rights secures a new generation of free speech advocates and could inoculate them against victims of a virus called censorship,” Scales said.
She is an advocate for free speech and is the author of Teaching Banned Books: 32 Guides for Children and Teens, Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library and Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books. She writes a bimonthly column, Scales on Censorship, for the School Library Journal, and is a regular contributor to Book Links magazine. She was also a member and chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee.
Professor Sophia Sotilleo is Associate Professor and Acting Library Director at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania for the Langston Hughes Memorial Library. In this capacity, she has the privilege of teaching information literacy in all subjects and works with the library team to support and ensure that the library is part of the University curriculum. Lincoln and parallel strategic plans for student success. His current area of research and interest is integrated librarianship, with a focus on access, advocacy and leadership in the field of librarianship.
“I am interested in serving on the Freedom to Read Council to support the work of an organization that defends and promotes the rights of libraries to secure access to books and information. Working as a librarian at a college and a historically black university (HBCU), serving first generation students, I see daily the importance of having access to various types of books that not only educate, but also empower and encourage our next generation of leaders.The Freedom to Read continues to do incredible work advocating and supporting access to information and I look forward to serving with the organization in this inspiring and important work.
Re-elected for a second term:
Loida Garcia-Febo is a past president of the American Library Association, a current member of the FTRF Executive Committee, and looks forward to continuing the work she began co-chairing the Social Justice Task Force and the intellectual freedom of the FTRF which resulted in the development of various lines of action and an upcoming two-day FTRF symposium on the subject. Garcia-Febo has served as chair of the American Library Association (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Roundtable, a longtime active liaison with REFORMA (the national association for the advancement of library and information services for Latinos and Spanish Speakers) to the FTRF, and Officer of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Advisory Committee on Freedom of Information and Freedom of Expression (IFLA’s FAIFE). She is committed to serving diverse communities and to equity, diversity, and inclusion by securing a landmark joint commitment from US library associations to EDI on which they build new strategies to serve libraries and employees. libraries. “I look forward to continuing to serve and work with the trustees of the FTRF to continue to protect and defend the First Amendment to the Constitution,” Garcia-Febo said.
For photos of newly elected members, please visit https://bit.ly/3a7Cq23
The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is governed by a board of fifteen directors. The term of an elected director is two years and board members may serve two consecutive terms. Trustees meet at least twice a year in conjunction with ALA conferences or professional development events and hold virtual committee meetings throughout the year. If you are interested in working with the Freedom to Read Foundation, visit us at www.ftrf.org or email [email protected] to find out how to get involved.