Associate Professor School of Information Science at the University of Kentucky
We are always hearing about certain intellectual freedom issues like banned books and data privacy in the news. However, there is more to intellectual freedom than just the headlines. This panel will update you on recent empirical research in intellectual freedom and censorship from academic experts in the field. Shannon Oltmann will share some surprising information about librarian perspectives on intellectual freedom. She will also address the importance of intellectual freedom in conservative, rural areas as well as moderate or liberal urban and suburban locales. Emily Knox will discuss her projects on intellectual freedom and diverse books and the relationship between intellectual freedom and social justice. The panelists will also discuss their Mapping Information Access research project on restricted internet access and book challenges in Alabama, its inconclusive results, and the need for more research. This program is co-sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation.
Emily Knox is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her book, "Book Banning in 21st Century America", was published by Rowman & Littlefield and is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. Her articles have been published in the Library Quarterly, Library & Information Science Research, and the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy. Emily serves on the boards of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Freedom to Read Foundation, and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. She is also a member of the Mapping Information Access research team. Emily received her Ph.D. from the doctoral program at the Rutgers University School of Communication & Information. Her master’s in library and information science is from the iSchool at Illinois. She also holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Smith College and an A.M. in the same field from The University of Chicago Divinity School.
Shannon M. Oltmann is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Science at the University of Kentucky. She obtained her Ph.D. from Indiana University. Her research interests include censorship, intellectual freedom, information policy, public libraries, privacy, and qualitative research methods. Oltmann is the Editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy. She has presented her research at academic conferences such as the Information Ethics Roundtable, the Annual Conference of the Association for Information Science & Technology, the iConference, and the International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry. Her work has been published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Library Quarterly, Public Libraries Quarterly, Collection Management, Libri, and Library and Information Science Research. Oltmann has a book under contract tentatively titled "Practicing Intellectual Freedom."