Your Rights, Your Libraries: The First Amendment and the Freedom to Read

This event’s recording can be found on Ames Public Libary’s YouTube Channel.


Controversies about library materials are an important issue right now.  Join us for a panel discussion to learn how libraries protect your freedoms, support the community, and represent diverse perspectives.  Representatives from Iowa State University Library, the Ames Public Library, the Ames Community School District, and the Iowa Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee will share how libraries choose materials and support the community. Questions from the audience are encouraged.

Participate in person or online.

This event is sponsored by Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication as part of its 20th annual First Amendment Days celebration. It is co-sponsored by the Ames Public Library and Iowa State University Library.


  • Robin N. Sinn, director of Collections & Open Strategies at Iowa State University
  • Sheila Schofer, director, Ames Public Library
  • Sam Helmick, Iowa City Public Library, former chair, Iowa Governor’s Commission of Libraries and Iowa Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee Community
  • Ames Community School District representative
  • Moderator: Julie Roosa, First Amendment Specialist, Greenlee School of Journalism


Tuesday, April 12, 7 p.m., Ames Public Library or via Zoom


Link to Tuesday’s event:

Link to all First Amendment activities at the Ames Public Library:



Robin N. Sinn


Robin N. Sinn is Director of Collections & Open Strategies at Iowa State University Library. She oversees the strategies, values, processes, and funds used to build and maintain a library collection that supports the teaching, learning, and research happening at ISU. This collection should also address the general information needs of Iowa residents. Robin received her BA in biology from Coe College and her MS in librarianship from Drexel University.



Sam Helmick
Sam Helmick


Sam Helmick is the Community and Access Services Coordinator for the Iowa City Public Library and previous chair of the Iowa Governor’s Commission of Libraries and Iowa Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. Sam is proud of their colleagues’ hard work which was recognized by the 2018 Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. Sam also serves as an Executive Board member for the American Library Association and is President-Elect to ILA.



Julie Roosa
Julie K. Roosa

Julie K. Roosa is an adjunct assistant professor and the First Amendment Specialist at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Her classes include First Amendment law, media law and principles of journalism. She chairs the First Amendment Committee, which coordinates events throughout the year for the Greenlee School’s First Amendment Series. The most prominent event in the series is ISU’s annual First Amendment Days celebration, a nationally recognized event since 2002. Roosa serves as a resource on legal issues related to freedom of speech and press. She also provides outreach and training on First Amendment topics to the campus and community. She earned her law degree from Drake University Law School, where she also earned a master’s degree in mass communication. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Iowa State University. She is a member of the Iowa Bar.