Intellectual Freedom Award

About the Intellectual Freedom Award
Given for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by the American Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association.

Established in 1982.

Administered by:

American Association of School Libraries logo

Award and Frequency

An annual award consisting of $2,000 to the winner and $1,000 to the school library program of the winner's choice.
This award is given out on an annual basis.


Applicants must be AASL personal members.

Application Instructions

See application.

Contact Information

Shannon Carter (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019) -
Work Phone: 312-280-4381
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611-2788

Displaying active committee roster as of 07/22/2018. Last retrieved on 07/22/2018. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used in the selection process:

  1. The recipient shall be a personal member of AASL.
  2. The recipient shall meet at least one of the following criteria:
    1. Has developed and implemented an exemplary selection policy/challenge procedure
    2. Has developed an innovative information program on intellectual freedom.
    3. Has upheld intellectual freedom principles in the face of a challenge.
    4. Has contributed to the literature of the field (print or non-print).
    5. Has been active in the establishment and/or continuation of a coalition relating to intellectual freedom at a local, state or national level.
  3. The recipient has not received another ProQuest, Inc. sponsored Intellectual Freedom Award in the same year.
  4. At least one supporting letter of reference must accompany the application form.  The reference must substantiate that the applicant has upheld the principles of intellectual freedom, and has met at least one of the criteria listed above. The letter must be submitted by one of the following:
    1. District library supervisors.
    2. State, county or district school superintendents or building principals.
    3. State, district and local library organizations.
    4. Directors of curriculum and instruction.
    5. Directors of elementary and/or secondary education.
    6. State school library supervisors.
    7. Local school board members.

Nominations will be accepted by organizations or individuals. Self-nominations will not be considered.