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Intellectual Freedom Committee Guidelines

Intellectual Freedom Committee (**charge from MLA handbook) 
  1. This committee's purpose is to create awareness among librarians of their responsibility to promote freedom of access to information in all types of libraries and to assist any library, library worker, library trustee, or friend of the library besieged by individuals or groups attempting to interfere with the right-to-read.
  2. The committee shall reassure librarians, trustees, and friends of the library that they will receive support from the committee should the principles of the right-to-read be violated.
  3. It should submit proposals of the committee pertinent to meeting these responsibilities to the Board of Directors and report censorship incidents to the President and the Intellectual Freedom Office of the American Library Association.
  4. In coordination with the Awards and Honors Committee and in compliance with the Guidelines for Awards and Honors, this committee may solicit nominations and select recipients for an Intellectual Freedom Award to be presented at the annual conference.

Intellectual Freedom Committee Guidelines (**adapted from MLA handbook) 
  1. Committee membership approval.
    1. By May 31st, the IFC chair will submit committee member appointments to the MLA President to be submitted to the MLA Board for approval at its summer meeting.
  2. Committee Appointments
    1. All committees are appointed by the MLA President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The MLA President shall seek nominations of committee members from the IFC itself and through such media as the newsletter.
    2. Each committee should have not less than three members nor more than nine members, with the Board of Directors having the power to enlarge a committee as appropriate. The IFC committee will include 3 members representing academic and special libraries, 3 members representing public libraries, and 3 members representing school libraries. The committee will also appoint an alternate member. Ex-officio members include MSL personnel involved in monitoring book challenges and in maintaining ownership of the committee’s blog and wiki.
    3. Officers – the IFC committee will elect a chair and a chair-elect. The chair and chair-elect terms will be two years.  IFC Committee Chair duties and responsibilities can be found at The role of the chair-elect is to assist the chair in the performance of her/his duties.
    4. Committee members shall serve a term of three years, no more than three consecutive terms, and terms shall be staggered so that one-third are appointed each year.
    5. Ex-officio IFC committee members are notified of appointments just as are other committee members.
    6. All IFC committee members must be members of the Montana Library Association.
  3. Committee Functions.
    1. Each IFC committee member shall be familiar with the Bylaws of the Association and the committee guidelines.
    2. IFC committee chairpersons may attend any MLA Board meeting or may be requested to do so. They may enter into discussion, but may not vote. If a chairperson if requested by the Board to attend a meeting, travel expenses of the chairperson will be reimbursed according to MLA guidelines.
    3. Resignation of an IFC committee member shall be made to the chairperson who will inform the MLA President.
    4. The IFC committee chairperson shall be familiar with the work of the corresponding committee, if any, of the Pacific Northwest Library Association, the Mountain Plains Library Association, and the American Library Association. Committee chairpersons should coordinate with MLA's representatives to these organizations to assist in obtaining information.
    5. No committee action shall be taken in the name of the Montana Library Association without prior approval of the Board of Directors or its Executive committee.
    6. If MLA funds are necessary to carry on the work of the committee, the committee chairperson must follow established Association budgeting and financial procedures to request and expend funds.
    7. The committee chairperson shall cooperate fully with his/her successor and transmit all records, files, and minutes of the committee by June 1.
    8. Materials prepared by a committee chairperson for distribution to the MLA membership shall have the approval of the committee members. If a reply from the members has not been received on the date indicated by the chairperson, approval is assumed.
    9. Copies of all correspondence sent and received shall be sent to the MLA President by the chairperson.
    10. The committee chairperson should contact the Chair of the Conference Planning Committee and participate in conference planning in accordance with guidelines established by the Conference Planning Committee if the committee wishes specific participation in the program of the annual conference.
    11. The IFC will meet in person at least once a year at the MLA Annual Conference.
    12. Elections take place at the annual meeting or by email, if agreed upon in advance by the committee.
    13. Voting – to vote by email, a motion needs be made and seconded. At least 14 days should be allowed between the motion and the vote to ensure committee members’ participation in discussion. 
  4. Committee Reports.
    1. It shall be the duty of the IFC committee chairperson to submit annual reports to the President in writing by the date specified by the President. [Bylaws. Article X, Sec. 3]
    2. Reports should contain statements of activities and results achieved by the committee during the year with recommendations to the Board of Directors, the membership, or to the incoming committee when pertinent.
    3. Committee chairpersons shall submit other reports as required by the President.
See MLA Committee guidelines at
See IFC charge at

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