ICPL Celebrates Intellectual Freedom

Intellectual Freedom has been a long-standing tenet at the Iowa City Public Library. Access, equity, and privacy are considerations for all library services including collection development, research, outreach, programming, and circulation.

In 2018 the Library created a Confidentiality and Privacy key for patrons on what type of personal information is tracked by third-party literacy and learning apps and for how long. This resource has been adopted by libraries around the state to promote transparency and awareness of user data.

Intellectual Freedom is one of ICPL’s seven core values. The work to maintain and uplift that value is founded in tradition and never ending. In February 2022, the Iowa City Public Library Board of Trustees shared a statement supporting Intellectual Freedom in schools and libraries as they defined libraries to be “unique democratic ideas, spaces where open discourse is welcome, and where varied points of view are valued.”

The Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival was established in 1995 to honor Carol's 26-year career at ICPL and her lifelong commitment to the freedom of ideas. Spaziani believed 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. Recent attacks on civil liberties including our freedom to read, learn, and communicate have manifested in the form of increased school district and public library book challenges and bans as well as new legislative restrictions on what can be taught or shared in schools and workplaces. ICPL will address these topics and more at this year’s festival, featuring events and displays coinciding with American Library Association’s annual Banned Books Week (September 18-24). Learn more about the events planned for the Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival at icpl.org/iff. *Note the panel event scheduled for Monday, September 26 has been postponed for a later date.*


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