Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman, MLS PhD

[Leer es Poder is ‘Reading Is Power’ in Spanish]
From my teen days as a page at the Newark [N.J.] Public Library through the years at U.C. Berkeley's School of Librarianship & the Free Speech Movement, the Library of Congress, Hennepin County Library, NYPL, and the Westchester Library System (WLS), I have fought for free access and information equity. Today, as our libraries face laws mandating filters, the loss or privatization of government information, a growing digital divide, and the outsourcing of library service and management, we need a strong ALA more than ever.


My pledge to you is that I will use the power of the ALA presidency to fight for :

  • free access to libraries and information for all, no matter what their economic condition, physical challenges, ethnicity, national origin, sexual preference, or age
  • fair use of databases and software (NO to UCITA! NO to excessive limitations on use in licensing agreements)
  • unfettered and unfiltered access to information in all formats
  • increased funding for libraries and government publication programs
  • pay equity and better salaries for all library workers
  • programs and funding to ensure the recruitment, education, and retention of a diverse library work force
  • programs and funding to support early childhood initiatives and family literacy
  • continued recognition that libraries are physical, as well as virtual places
  • keeping the L in Library Education by requiring ALA accredited schools to teach library administration, services, and principles
  • school libraries in their struggle against externally imposed filters and censorship; and the promotion of collaboration between school & public libraries and librarians

As a librarian with a PhD in library and information science who has chosen to work on the front-lines, I have a proven record of fighting for the core principles of our profession, foremost of which is intellectual freedom. I was the only librarian who testified in the successful ACLU/ALA lawsuit to overthrow New York State’s harmful to minors Internet law. I plan to participate in the ACLU’s lawsuit against federally mandated filtering (CIPA).

As Director of the Westchester Library System—a 38 public library cooperative serving 875,000—I have developed consensus-building skills that will help ALA better meet the needs of its units and rationalize differing perspectives. My cable TV show and the Library Advocates group that I founded increase public awareness of libraries and the issues they face in Westchester County—County funding has increased 1900% since I was hired.

The major goal in my years of work in technical services and technology, and as a library educator at Columbia and Pratt, has been to make technology work for—and be accessible to—everyone through service-oriented resource sharing, cooperation and bias-free cataloging. In part, I received the LITA Award for Achievement in Library & Information Technology for my work with technology, "In recognition of [my]…profoundly humanistic approach to the use of technology…"

I have lectured and consulted for the USIA on four continents, for academic and public libraries, and authored three books and dozens of articles. I am proud to have succeeded Marvin Scilken as publisher and editor of The U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*DTM,, The ‘How I Run My Library Good’ LetterSM.

For three decades I have chaired and served on dozens of ALA units. Among these are the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, Pay Equity Committee (Chair), LITA (President), ALCTS Planning, PLA Cataloging Needs of Public Libraries, and SRRT Action Council. I served on the Intellectual Freedom Committees in Minnesota and New York. I know how ALA works and how vital local and state library organizations are to librarianship.


Organizational Endorsements: REFORMA; ALA Feminist Task Force; Social Responsibilities Round Table; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Round Table; U.S. Congressman Major Owens; Such Leaders of the Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA) as E.J. Josey (BCALA’s Founder), and the following past & present BCALA Board Members, Khafre Abif, Stanton Biddle, Alex Boyd, Florence Simkins Brown, & Rodney J. Lee

Please join these dedicated librarians who are committed to my candidacy, and give me your vote: Khafre Abif, Lydia Acosta, Peggy Barber, John Barrett, Pamela Berger, Sanford Berman, John N. Berry III, Howard Besser, Stanton Biddle, Toni Bissessar, Alex Boyd, Carol Brey, Florence Simkins Brown, Leslie Burger, Karyle Butcher, Constance Carter, Heeja Chung, Oralia Garza de Cortes, Linda Crowe, Leigh Estabrook, Steve Force, Al Kagan, Anne G. Lipow, Martín Gómez, Elaine Harger, Dottie Hiebing, Bernadine Hoduski, Kathleen Imhoff, Deborah Jacobs, Cynthia Johanson, Duane Johnson, E.J. Josey, Al Kagan, Diane Kresh, Rodney J. Lee, Carole Leita, Rory Litwin, Seymour Lubetzky, Kathleen de la Peña McCook, S. Michael Malinconico, Thomas Mann, Seoud M. Matta, Samuel Morrison, Suzine Har Nicolescu, Daniel O'Connor, Amy Owen, Honorable Major Owens, Derrie Perez, Sarah Pritchard, Mark Rosenzweig, Judith Rovenger, Raymond Santiago, Sherrie Schmidt, Helen F. Schmierer, Amy Small, David R. Smith, Karen G. Schneider, Patricia Glass Schuman, Harriet Selverstone, Mary Somerville, Michael Steinfeld, Carla Stoffle, Art Weeks, Linda Williams, and many others.