For Immediate Release
April 13, 2009
CHICAGO – American Library Association (ALA) Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels released the following statement regarding the loss of ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Judith F. Krug.
“As a librarian for over thirty years, I heard of Judith Krug long before I ever met her or worked with her. As a Junior High School Librarian in an impoverished community, fresh out of library school, I came to know ALA and the Office for Intellectual Freedom as an outspoken opponent of the censorship that is all too common in schools.
“Over the years, I saw the critical role that Judith and the Office played in protecting libraries from the forces of censorship and in promoting tolerance and the First Amendment rights of all library users. Each year, ALA helped thousands of libraries threatened by censorship. With 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, the work of Judith and the OIF took on a new urgency as the government sought to overturn long-established rights of library users to read freely without fear of government surveillance.
“Since coming to ALA as Executive Director six years ago, I have had the privilege of working with Judith on a day to day basis. I was present as the CIPA case was argued, and met with then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to explain why ALA could not back down in its opposition to the provisions of the Patriot Act. Our stand on this issue changed the way that the world saw librarians, and history has proven us correct in our opposition.
“I think it is fair to say that Judith Krug’s ’s energy and leadership were central to all of these accomplishments, and that her work impacted not just libraries, but all Americans. Judith’s courage, intelligence, humor and passion will be much missed - but her spirit will inspire us always.”