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Library Journal: Library News, Reviews and Views

ALA's Judith Krug Wins William J. Brennan, Jr. Award

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This article originally appeared in SLJ's Extra Helping. <a href="https://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/subscribe.asp?screen=pi8">Sign up now!</a>

By SLJ Staff -- School Library Journal, 01/14/2009

Judith Krug, director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), has been given the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award for her “remarkable commitment to the marriage of open books and open minds.”

Given by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, Krug is only the fifth person to receive the award since it was first given in 1993.

The award recognizes a person or group that demonstrates a commitment to the principles of free expression followed by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Krug, director of ALA’s OIF since 1967, as well as the director of the office's Freedom to Read Foundation since 1969, has fought would-be censors over everything from Huckleberry Finn to the Internet. She has also worked to protect and promote the library as a First Amendment institution.

“Often in the face of great personal criticism, Krug has never wavered in her defense of First Amendment freedoms, whether testifying before Congress, leading legal challenges to unconstitutional laws, or intervening hundreds of times to support and advise librarians in their efforts to keep particular books available to the public,” says the center in a release.

Krug earned her B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and her M.A. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago. In 2005, she received an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Humane Letters, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Early in her career, Krug held positions in various Chicago libraries, including reference librarian at the John Crerar Library and head cataloger at the Northwestern University Dental School Library. Before assuming her present duties in the Office for Intellectual Freedom, she was the research analyst for the American Library Association.

Krug will receive formal recognition in Chicago on July 12 at the Freedom to Read Foundation's 40th Anniversary Gala, which will be held in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Based in Charlottesville, VA, the Thomas Jefferson Center is a nonprofit institution dedicated to protecting free expression.


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