For immediate release | June 18, 2013

Judith Platt, Sen. Russell Feingold win 2013 FTRF Roll of Honor Awards

CHICAGO — The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) has announced that past FTRF president Judith Platt and former Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold are the recipients of the 2013 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Awards.

Judith Platt is the director of free expression advocacy for the Association of American Publishers (AAP). In that role, Platt has led numerous coalitions that work to strengthen free speech and privacy rights, including Banned Books Week, the Campaign for Reader Privacy, the Kids Right to Read Project and the Media Coalition. First elected to the FTRF Board in 1999, she served as president from 2007–2009. She was elected to her sixth two-year term in 2012.

Sen. Russell Feingold served in the U.S. Senate from 1993–2011. In 2001, he was the only senator to vote against the USA Patriot Act, based on civil liberties concerns. When the act came up for reauthorization in 2005 and 2009, he led efforts to correct some of its most controversial elements, including trying to narrow the FBI’s ability to obtain library, book store and business records outside regular court channels. After leaving the Senate in 2011, Feingold formed Progressives United, a public education and advocacy organization founded in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

“Judith Platt’s dedication to the Freedom to Read Foundation and the principles we hold dear is unimpeachable,” said Christine Jenkins, chair of the Roll of Honor Committee. “She is a great leader within the Foundation and has been a tremendous ally via her work at AAP. Her unstinting commitment to bringing together publishers and libraries on common issues—in particular opposition to censorship and the support of privacy rights—is the true hallmark of her illustrious career. We are elated to honor her with this award.”

Jenkins continued, “FTRF honors Russ Feingold’s leadership by example in support of individuals’ civil liberties by his courageous stance against the Patriot Act in 2001 and his persistent efforts in opposition to the Patriot Act in 2006 and again in 2009.”

FTRF has been involved in multiple cases against the Patriot Act, including supporting the “Connecticut Four” librarians, who successfully litigated against a Patriot Act-authorized National Security Letter and associated gag order several years ago.

The Roll of Honor Awards will be presented at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference during its Opening General Session from 4 – 5:15 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.

The Roll of Honor was established in 1987 to recognize and honor those individuals who have contributed substantially to FTRF through adherence to its principles and/or substantial monetary support.


Jonathan Kelley

Program Officer

Freedom to Read Foundation