IFRT Report

Intellectual Freedom Round Table No. 61, Summer 2006


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2006 IFRT Intellectual Freedom Awards

Nanette Perez

John Phillip Immroth Award

Lucy Collins Nazro and Kathryn Runnells of St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, have been named the recipients of the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for Intellectual Freedom for 2006, presented by the American Library Association (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT).

“Lucy Collins Nazro and Kathryn Runnells represent the daily struggle that librarians and administrators face in building inclusive curriculum and collections,” said Immroth Award Committee Chair Laura Koltutsky. “By keeping "Brokeback Mountain" in the curriculum, they have represented the ideals of their school and their profession.”

Lucy Collins Nazro defended intellectual freedom at St. Andrew's Episcopal School by refusing a $3 million donation that was dependent on the removal of Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain" from the senior English curriculum. The Board of Trustees, led by Kathryn Runnells, supported her decision by giving her full support and keeping the issue in the area of curriculum, instead of making it a financial issue in which they would have the authority to intervene.

The Immroth Award honors intellectual freedom fighters in and outside the library profession who have demonstrated remarkable personal courage in resisting censorship. The award consists of $500 and a citation.

The Immroth Award will be presented Saturday, June 24, 2006, at a special awards reception at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, 12:00p.m. - 1:30 p.m in the Morial Convention Center Room 343.

For more information on the award, visit http://www.ala.org/ifrt.

ProQuest-SIRS State and Regional Achievement Award

The Colorado Association of Libraries Intellectual Freedom Committee (CAL IFC) is the 2006 recipient of the ProQuest-SIRS State and Regional Achievement Award presented by the American Library Association (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT).

The award, funded by ProQuest-SIRS, consists of a citation and $1,000, and recognizes successful and effective intellectual freedom committees or coalitions that have made a contribution to the freedom to read in libraries or to the intellectual freedom environment in which libraries function.

CAL IFC is honored for establishing the Webjunction Intellectual Freedom Forum, an Internet discussion group that engages front-line librarians from across the country in discussion of issues relating to the intellectual freedom and the library community. The Forum's discussions range from the impact of the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act on libraries to sharing thoughts on dealing with challenges to specific materials in individual libraries.

The award will be presented to CAL IFC during a special awards reception on Saturday, June 24, 2006, at Annual Conference in New Orleans, 12:00p.m. - 1:30 p.m in the Morial Convention Center Room 343.

For more information on the award, see http://www.ala.org/ifrt/sirsproquest.  For information on the Colorado Association of Libraries Intellectual Freedom Committee, see http://www.cal-webs.org/ifhandbook.html.

Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award

Kembrew McLeod has been chosen as the winner of the Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, presented by the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) of the American Library Association (ALA). McLeod was selected for his book Freedom of Expression: Overzealous Copyright Bozos and Other Enemies of Creativity (Doubleday, Random House, 2005).

The award is named for the late Idaho University librarian Eli M. Oboler—famed as a “champion of intellectual freedom who demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom of expression.” The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) presents the award every two years for the best published book.

“McLeod captures the growing switch from a balanced compromise between the creator’s rights and public access,” said Committee Chair Fred Stielow. “In its place, the author wittily exposes a stifling shift of copyright law into an instrument of commercial interests.”

The committee also recognized the author’s own commitment by making his text available as an Open Source publication at http://www.kembrew.com/books/.

McLeod is a media studies scholar at the University of Iowa. Author of Owning Culture: Authorship, Ownership and Intellectual Property Law, (Lang, 2001), he is the independent filmmaker behind Money For Nothing: Behind the Business of Pop Music (2000) — a documentary that received the Rosa Luxemburg Award for Social Consciousness.

Formal presentation will be at the IFRT Awards Reception on Saturday, June 24, at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, 12:00p.m. - 1:30 p.m in the Morial Convention Center Room 343.  For more information, see the award Web site at http://www.ala.org/ala/ifrt/ifrtinaction/ifrtawards/oboler/oboler.htm.