Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

Freedom to Read Foundation

  • Chicago, IL
  • http://www.ftrf.org

Mission Statement

Founded in 1969, the Freedom to Read Foundation: Promotes and protects the freedom of speech and of the press; Protects the public's right of access to information and materials stored in the nation's libraries; Safeguards libraries' right to disseminate all materials contained in their collections; and }Supports libraries and librarians in their defense of First Amendment rights by supplying them with legal counsel or the means to secure it. The Foundation is devoted to the principle that the solution to offensive speech is more speech, and the suppression of speech on the grounds that it gives offense to some infringes on the rights of all to a free, open and robust marketplace of ideas.

Main Programs

  1. Litigation
  2. Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship
  3. Judith Krug Fund Banned Books Week Event Grants
  4. Judith F. Krug Fund Intellectual Freedom Education Project
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

The primary area of focus is the United States of America. However, FTRF has consulted with representatives of libraries around the world.

ruling year

1972

Executive Director & Secretary since 2016

Self-reported

James LaRue

President since 2016

Self-reported

Martin Garnar

Keywords

Self-reported

censorship, First Amendment, libraries, freedom to read, book, civil liberties, banned, Constitution

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Also Known As

FTRF

EIN

23-7102086

 Number

5969039758

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Censorship, Freedom of Speech and Press Issues (R63)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Litigation

Freedom to Read Foundation has been involved with many landmark First Amendment cases. In the past few years, it has: } helped to strike down provisions in the Communications Decency Act that would have censored the Internet; } successfully helped citizens in Loudoun County, Va., overturn a mandate to filter all library Internet access; } assisted in successful litigation in New Mexico, New York, and Michigan to overturn statewide Internet censorship laws; and } supported the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver in its successful efforts to protect the privacy of its customers' purchase records; Among the cases currently being worked on, the Freedom to Read Foundation is: } challenging the Children's Internet Protection Act, which would force libraries accepting federal E-Rate funds to filter all Internet access (in June 2002 we won a unanimous decision from a special Third Circuit three-judge panel); } assisting individual libraries as they face challenges to policies, such as their privacy, display, and Internet policies; and } opposing President Bush's recent order to hollow out the Presidential Records Act, thereby preventing access to former presidents' records. And of course, year after year we fight the removal of (and restriction of access to) books and other materials from school and public libraries throughout the country.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$30,000.00

Program 2

Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) offers an annual scholarship for library school students and new professionals to attend ALA's Annual Conference. The goal of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship is to advance two principles that Gordon held dear: intellectual freedom and mentoring.

The Conable Scholarship provides for conference registration, transportation, housing for six nights, and a $300 stipend for meals and other expenses. The recipient also will receive a one-year membership in the Freedom to Read Foundation. In return, the recipient will be expected to attend various FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and programs at conference, consult with a mentor/board member, and present a report about their experiences and thoughts.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Budget

$1000.00

Program 3

Judith Krug Fund Banned Books Week Event Grants

Since 2010, Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund has disbursed grants to organizations to assist them stage "Read-Outs" or other events during Banned Books Week. (A Banned Books Week Read-Out is an event at which people gather to read from books that have been banned or challenged over the years, in order to celebrate the freedom to read.)

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$6,000.00

Program 4

Judith F. Krug Fund Intellectual Freedom Education Project

In addition to Banned Books Week event grants, the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund also funds online education efforts focused on intellectual freedom for library and information studies (LIS) students and library professionals.

Judith was a fierce proponent of education, and among her many other accomplishments she taught classes and lectured frequently at LIS programs on intellectual freedom. FTRF's intellectual freedom education project will incorporate Judith's writings and lectures to help create a comprehensive curriculum with content that can be used in a variety of educational venues.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Budget

$10,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

National

The primary area of focus is the United States of America. However, FTRF has consulted with representatives of libraries around the world.

Social Media

Blog

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

FREEDOM TO READ FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Freedom to Read Foundation

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director & Secretary

James LaRue

President

Martin Garnar

BIO

LaRue is the director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, and the Freedom to Read Foundation. Author of "The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges," LaRue has been a public library director, speaker, and consultant.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director & Secretary

"The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association. FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect - and individuals to access - information."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Martin Garnar

Dean, Kraemer Family Library, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Term: June 2016 - June 2018

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?