Iowa City Public Library Celebrates Intellectual Freedom

by on September 11th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library will celebrate the 2014 Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival Sept. 22 through Sept. 26.

This annual celebration is named for former librarian Carol Spaziani in honor of her 26-year career at ICPL and for her life-long commitment to the freedom of ideas. This year, the Library is collaborating with University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, the Reading Aloud Group from the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, the University of Iowa Library and the Departments of English, Cinematic Studies, and Journalism and Mass Communications and the University of Iowa International Writing Program to present a series of programs designed that celebrate our right to think.

Monday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.: A screening of “Diagram or Delinquents.” This documentary captures the zeitgeist of late 1940s and early 1950s America, and investigates how comics went on trial.IFF Poster 2014

Wednesday, Sept. 24 at noon: The Reading Aloud Group from the Iowa City Johnson County Senior Center will read the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, some of whose poems were censored until well after his death.

Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m.: Carol L. Tilley, an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present “When Comics Almost Died – Readers, Censors, and Innovation.” Tilley’s lecture is based on her research regarding Fredric Wertham, who blamed juvenile delinquency on reading comics.

Thursday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.: A screening of “Dixie Chicks:  Shut Up and Sing.” This documentary follows the Dixie Chicks over a period of intense public scrutiny, fan backlash, threats, and pressure from both corporate and conservative political elements after lead singer Natalie Maines publicly criticized then President of the United States George W. Bush during a live 2003 concert in London.

Friday, Sept. 26 at 10 a.m.: An adult education class, Social Media Safety: Protecting Your Online Privacy, will be held in the Library’s second floor Computer Lab. This class focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of using privacy settings on several social networking sites.

Friday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m.: Maureen Freely, a 2014 Ida Beam Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa International Writing Program, will speak on censorship. Freely also is the president of English PEN, a global literary center that defends and promotes free expression.

Whenever possible, the Festival coincides with Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors, among other groups and associations.

During Banned Books Week, Sept. 21 through Sept. 27, teen patrons will be able to complete an online scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt is designed to increase awareness of young adult literature that is challenged and banned in the U.S.

Teens with the most correct answers will be entered into a drawing to win a Downtown District Gift Card. The scavenger hunt will be accessible at beginning Sunday, Sept. 21.

For more information on the Iowa City Public Library’s Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival, visit

For information about Banned Books Week, visit

One Response to “Iowa City Public Library Celebrates Intellectual Freedom”

  1. It’s an awesome paragraph in support of all the internet users; they will get advantage from it I am sure.

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