Presented by the ILA Intellectual Freedom Committee.
Freedom to choose what materials shall be available in libraries is a core concern and this honorarium recognizes the sharing of that responsibility by others. The award is sponsored by the Intellectual Freedom Fund established in 2017 in honor of Robert P. Doyle on the occasion of his retirement in recognition of his extraordinary personal and professional commitment to ILA and to the principles of intellectual freedom.
Not sure how to get started with your nomination?
Review the Criteria and Eligibility below.
An individual or group is recognized for outstanding contributions in defending intellectual freedom or the advancement of these principles as espoused and promulgated by both the Illinois Library Association and the American Library Association.
Nominations are solicited throughout the state of Illinois from school, academic, special, and public libraries. Library systems are also solicited, as well as ILA and its forums and committees. Any other Illinois group or individual may also submit nominations.
Submit a written statement of how the nominee meets the criteria. If nominated due to a specific incident, give the date and attach any supporting documentation, such as newspaper clippings, etc. The award may be for a single event of the current year or for an ongoing project, educational workshop, or promotion. It also may be related to legislative support on the local, state, or national level.
Special consideration will be given to events or contributions relating directly to the First Amendment. The committee is also interested in recognizing activities related to the broader topics of freedom of information, with the understanding that contributions must impact directly on Illinois and its citizens to be considered.
Name and reason for the choice will be presented to the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The chosen recipient will be informed in advance and given the right of refusal because recognition from publicized intellectual freedom activities sometimes kindles controversy.
The recipient will be presented with a certificate and a $500 financial award.
Please note that monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon sponsor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.
The nominator’s statement of support should address all criteria under the individual awards as outlined. Nominator must submit the nomination form and attach all support statements, letters, and documentation, etc. required by the award’s criteria. ILA must receive all nominations by May 15.
Previous Intellectual Freedom Award winners
1983 Deborah Miller
1984 no award
1985 Jennie Crankshaw; Sherrie Mermis
1986 Lee Preston
1987 Christine Bowden; Edward L. Olds
1988 no award
1989 Niles Public Library District
1990 Judith F. Krug
1991 no award
1992 no award
1993 Eleanor Peters
1994 Trustees, Downers Grove Public Library
1995 ILA Intellectual Freedom Forum
1996 ILA Intellectual Freedom Forum
1997 Judy Erwin
1998 Harvey Hahn
1999 Deb Samuelson
2000 Robert P. Doyle
2001 Sharon Hogan
2002 no award
2003 no award
2004 Richard P. Frisbie
2005 Dan Yahne
2006 Trustees, Oak Lawn Public Library
2007 no award
2008 Staff and Board of Education, Township High School District 214, Arlington Heights
2009 Sue Reichert
2010 no award
2011 no award
2012 Helen Matthes Library, Effingham
2013 451 Degrees Club, Lane Tech College Prep High School; and Students of Lane Tech College Prep High School
2014 Orland Park Public Library Board of Library Trustees
2015 Emily Knox
2016 Roger Schillerstrom
2017 Hinsdale Public Library
2018 O'Fallon Public Library
2019 Nicole Cooke
2020 Rebecca Ginsburg
2021 Deborah Caldwell-Stone