From 1984-2009, the State and Regional Intellectual Freedom Achievement Award was given to the most innovative and effective intellectual freedom project covering a state or region. Projects could be one-time, one-year or ongoing/multi-year efforts. The award consisted of a citation and $1,000. The award was underwritten first by SIRS, then by ProQuest/SIRS.
Gerald Hodges joined the ALA staff in 1989 as Director of Membership Services and the Chapter Relations Office. At his death in 2006, he was the Associate Director of Communications and Marketing, but his passion was still Intellectual Freedom and Chapter Relations. Hodges willed a portion of his estate to establish the Gerald Hodges Fund in support of intellectual freedom. Memorial contributions to that fund also came from many friends and colleagues. In 2013, it was decided that the most appropriate use of that fund would be to re-institute the former "State and Regional Intellectual Freedom Achievement Award" as the "Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award."