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Intellectual Freedom Festival

The Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival is an Annual Event at ICPL that affirms everyone's right to freedom of thought and expression. All events are free and open to the public. We hope you will join us!

What is Intellectual Freedom?

Intellectual Freedom is a basic human right, defined by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The American Library Association affirms Intellectual Freedom as a basis for our democratic system and recognizes the important role libraries play in Intellectual Freedom issues. In order to be responsible citizens who have the ability to self-govern, we must be well-informed. Libraries provide information, ideas and resources in a variety of formats, enabling an informed citizenry.


About the Festival

In 1995, the Iowa City Public Library established the annual Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival to honor Carol's 26-year career at ICPL and life-long commitment to the freedom of ideas. Spaziani (shown left) believes that the public library's role is to be a resource and a forum for an individual's pursuit and expression of diverse points of view. A Library committee monitors current intellectual freedom issues and plans programs of interest for area residents. Celebrate your intellectual freedom and head to the Library for interesting programs and discussions. For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Documentary Film Screening: Diagram for Delinquents
Monday, September 22 7:00 pm
Meeting Room A

Diagram for Delinquents captures the zeitgeist of late 1940s and early 1950s America and investigates how comics went on trial. In 1950, America was in a state of panic. Juvenile delinquency was destroying the very fabric of society. Ninety percent of all children were reading comic books. In 1954, psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham wrote a scathing indictment of comics called Seduction of the Innocent. That same year, Dr. Wertham testified at special hearings on comic books at the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the United States. 108 Min.

A Poet Is Banned: Edgar Allan Poe
Wednesday, September 24 12:00 pm
Meeting Room A

Members of the Iowa City Johnson County Senior Center's Read Aloud group will be reading from the work of Edgar Allan Poe.

When Comics Almost Died - Readers, Censors, and Innovation
Wednesday, September 24 7:00 pm
Meeting Room A

Sixty years ago, three events endangered comics: the publication of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham's book "Seduction of the Innocent" which blamed juvenile delinquency on reading comics; the US Senate hearings on the relationship between comic books and juvenile delinquency; and the development of the Comics Code Authority, a censorship body that restricted content. Carol Tilley, whose research into Wertham's revealed the doctor fabricated some of his findings, takes listeners behind the scenes, to reveal this fateful year in comics history. Learn untold stories of Wertham, Senator Estes Kefauver and the kids who tried to fight the tide of anti-comics momentum. Carol L. Tilley is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Documentary Film Screening: Dixie Chicks - Shut Up and Sing
Thursday, September 25 7:00 pm
Meeting Room A

Censorship takes many forms. The film follows the Dixie Chicks, a successful all-woman Texas-based country music trio, over a three-year period of intense public scrutiny, fan backlash, physical threats, and pressure from both corporate and conservative political elements in the United States after lead singer Natalie Maines publicly criticised then President of the United States George W. Bush during a live 2003 concert.

Social Media Safety: Protecting your Privacy Online
Friday, September 26, 10:00 am
Computer Lab

Are you savvy when using social media? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the privacy settings on several social networks. Learn how to adjust your settings and learn techniques for discovering the information that is already out there online about you. Space is limited register online or by calling 356-5200.

Maureen Freely on Censorship
Friday, September 26 7:00 pm
Meeting Room A

Maureen Freely is a 2014 Ida Beam Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa International Writing Program. She is an American author, journalist and faculty member at the University of Warwick, Coventry, England. She is the author of six works of fiction and four non fiction. She is best known as the Turkish-into-English translator of Orhan Pamuk's recent novels.