Bilz Selected to Blog for ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom

Kelly Bilz, a current graduate student in the library and information science program, was named one of fifteen people to write for the Intellectual Freedom Blog, a platform managed by and edited by staff in The Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association (ALA). 

Bilz joined the library science program, housed within the University of Kentucky’s School of Information Science, in August 2018. Currently, she is an education graduate assistant for the university’s Special Collections Research Center and works in the public library’s Local History and Genealogy department.   

“I more or less stumbled into library and information science from studying classics in undergrad and taking an archives class in my last semester,” Bilz said. “One of my graduate classes, LIS 600: Information in Society, introduced me to the fascinating concept of intellectual freedom, and I was excited to have the opportunity to continue learning about it as an OIF volunteer blogger.”   

The Intellectual Freedom Blog aims to educate and encourage discussions about intellectual freedom principles and promote the value of libraries, librarians, and professional membership in ALA. Bilz’s first post on the blog, "Intellectual Freedom Fighters, Part 1: Reclaim the Records," highlights Reclaim the Records’ effort to preserve and protect intellectual freedom by filing Freedom of Information and Open Data requests to make government records published.  

As an information professional, focusing on academic libraries, she is interested in how intellectual freedom affects access to genealogical records and ethical collecting practices in archives. 

“I think people tend to overlook genealogical records when it comes to intellectual freedom, but they also engage with issues of access, privacy, and social justice. I’m also interested in classic films, which have their own extended and complicated history with censorship, such as the Hays Code,” she said.  

When asked about her writing process, Bilz said, “My favorite part of the writing process is the initial inspiration and research. When I get an idea for a blog and read what other people are writing about the issue, I get really energized and excited. When I actually have to sit down and articulate my thoughts, though, my momentum kind of slows down …but that’s what deadlines are for, to keep me motivated!” 

The School congratulates Bilz on being selected to blog for the Office of Intellectual Freedom!