Intellectual Freedom Award

Presented by the ILA Intellectual Freedom Committee and Ancel Glink

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 and by Ancel Glink. 

We are no longer nominations for this award.

Not sure how to get started with your nomination?

Click here to download award nomination guidelines and requirements.

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. 

Award Winners

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.

Nomination Deadline

May 15

Nomination Submissions

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.

If a group, department, or organization is chosen as the award winner, the individual members of the group will be collectively recognized. If more than one individual nominates the same person, only one nominator will be invited to attend the Award Ceremony. 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 

2022    Downers Grove High School Students (Julia Hanson, Emily Hernandez, Tabitha Irvin, Lauren Pierret, and Josiah Poynter)
2023 Christine Bristow, Samantha Lego, and Aimee Villet, Youth Department of the Glen Carbon Centennial Library

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

Visit the iREAD website »

Latest Library JobLine Listings

Browse all JobLine listings »