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VIDEO: King County Library System celebrates the Freedom to Read at recent panel discussion

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The King County Library System (KCLS) recently launched a year-long campaign to celebrate the Freedom to Read, as well as promote the importance of Intellectual Freedom.

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KCLS held a panel discussion on the topic at Renton Technical College on Nov. 13, 2023, which included:

Emcee:

  • Amity Addrisi, Host of KING 5’s New Day NW

Panelists:

  • Dr. Tanisha Brandon-Felder, Director of Equity and Family Engagement. Shoreline School District
  • Clevell Roseboro II, Associate Dean of the Library, Renton Technical College
  • Jessica Russell, Assistant Director of Collection Services, Sno-Isle Libraries
  • Tracey Thompson, Director of Collection Management Services, KCLS

Intellectual Freedom is a widely held concept among public libraries and a basic right of our democratic society. The American Library Association (ALA) states that Intellectual Freedom: 

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  • Ensures that all community members have free, equitable and confidential access to information.
  • Gives patrons the right to think for themselves.
  • Respects individual dignity and self-rule.

“KCLS values Intellectual Freedom and believes that everyone has the freedom to read, listen to and view content of any kind within the law,” KCLS said. “KCLS offers an extensive range of constitutionally protected opinions, perspectives and viewpoints to serve individual needs while supporting the broader needs of King County communities.”

Learn more about your right to access ideas and information, and how to get involved in KCLS’ Freedom to Read campaign at: 

kcls.org/intellectual-freedom

“The Freedom to Read is a First Amendment Right,” said KCLS Director of Collection Management Services Tracey Thompson. “Rather than defend access to specific titles, we defend your right to access information and materials of your own choosing. Other individuals, groups or the government cannot, and should not, decide what is right for you.” 

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Video

Below is a video of the panel discussion on this issue, as shot/edited by Scott Schaefer:

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