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Book Bans and Censorship: Managing Public Comment Sessions & Material Challenges

Usually, nobody from the public shows up at your monthly board meetings, but suddenly there are 20 people armed with proverbial torches and pitchforks aimed at your library collection. It's a scenario that can catch anyone off guard, and preparation is key. Join us as we explore the recent unprecedented rise in material challenges, which have shifted from quiet requests for reconsideration to very public challenges at board meetings.


Presenter Jamie LaRue, director of the Garfield County Public Library District (CO) and former director of ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the table having dealt with over 1,200 material challenges in his career. Join us as Jamie shares practical strategies and real-life examples for effectively managing public sessions and material challenges.


Whether you're a librarian, educator, or passionate advocate for intellectual freedom, this webinar is a must-attend. We'll learn how to strike a balance between upholding the principles of free speech and addressing community concerns, all while keeping our libraries vibrant and inclusive spaces. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from one of the foremost authorities on material challenges. Let's come together to ensure that our libraries continue to serve as beacons of knowledge and diversity in our communities.


Through this webinar, you will learn:


• Strategies for managing public comment sessions so they don't devolve into disruption.

• Policy tips to manage challenges with institutional purpose and grace.

• Some new legal wrinkles about requests for reconsideration and patron privacy.

Book Bans and Censorship: Managing Public Comment Sessions & Material Challenges


$25 per person for 4+licenses

  • Jamie LaRue is the director of the Garfield County Public Library District in Western Colorado. The author of  two books: On Censorship: A Public Librarian Examines Cancel Culture in the US and The New Inquistion: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges, Jamie has been a Public Library Director for many years, as well as a weekly newspaper columnist and cable TV host. From January 2016 to November 2018, he was director of ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, and the Freedom to Read Foundation. Jamie has written, spoken and consulted extensively on intellectual freedom issues, leadership and organizational development, community engagement and the future of libraries.

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