John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award

The John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, presented annually, honors notable contributions to intellectual freedom and demonstrations of personal courage in defense of freedom of expression.

Established in 1979, upon the death of John Phillip Immroth, this award honors the courage, dedication, and contribution of a living individual, group, or organization 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 $500. 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.

The Immroth Award is administered by the Immroth Committee which seeks out and recognizes personal courage and contributions to intellectual freedom.


Current Recipient

2020: Rebecca Ginsburg. Ginsburg championed the fight to restore access to the books and raise awareness of prison censorship by creating the Freedom to Learn Campaign, a coalition of 67 organizations and hundreds of individuals. Her work culminated in a special legislative hearing that changed the terms of future book access inside prisons to protect incarcerated readers across the state. (ALA Press Release)

Immroth Recipients


Donate to the Gerald Hodges Award

Support the award with a $25, $50, $100, or $250 donation to IFRT.


Sponsor and Deadline

The John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award is sponsored by the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) of the American Library Association (ALA). The deadline for nominations is December 1 of each year.