Intellectual Freedom Award

Presented by the ILA Intellectual Freedom Committee and Quality Books, Inc. The officers and managers of Quality Books, Inc. are lifelong residents of Illinois and have strong personal commitments to libraries. 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

Not sure how to get started with your nomination?

Click here to download award nomination guidelines and requirements.

Review the Criteria and Eligibility below. 

Category

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.

Eligibility

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.

Criteria

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 ILA Board and Quality Books, Inc. The chosen recipient will be informed in advance and given the right of refusal because recognition from publicized intellectual freedom activities sometimes kindles controversy. In the event that no deserving nominations are received, the ILA Intellectual Freedom Committee members may not then nominate a recipient. Instead, the award will not be given.

Award Winners

The recipient will be presented with a certificate and a $500 financial award.

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. 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

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