Awards Administered by IFRT
Established in 1976, upon the death of John Phillip Immroth, this award honors the courage, dedication, and contribution of a living individual or group who has set the finest kind of example for the defense and furtherance of the principles of intellectual freedom. The award consists of a citation and a $500 prize.
John Phillip Immroth was a teacher, author, scholar, advocate, and defender of First Amendment rights. He was the founder and first Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in 1973. His impact on the ideal of intellectual freedom and its practice was great.
In the words of the ALA Memorial Resolution for Eli Oboler, passed at the 1983 Annual Conference, Eli "served the library profession with the highest distinction, as University Librarian at Idaho State University for over three decades, as member of ALA Council from 1951 to 1959 and again from 1977 to 1981, as president of the Pacific Northwest Library Association,... as president of the Idaho Library Association," and, most significantly, as "one of the profession's most eloquent champions of intellectual freedom... as a member of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, as chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and as a founder and vice-president of the Freedom to Read Foundation." He was our "loyal gadfly," who "constantly and impatiently demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom expression."
His principal means of pursuing this noble task was his writing; he was prolific and eloquent author of hundreds of articles, reviews, and books, many of which have been and are destined to remain widely influential. In the spirit of this achievement, this award is to be granted to what the selection committee judges to be the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom to appear in the two-year period ending in the December prior to the Annual Conference at which the award is granted. The award consists of a citation and a $500 prize.