For immediate release | April 29, 2019

Freedom to Read Foundation Announces 2019 Roll of Honor Awards

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) Roll of Honor Committee is excited to announce Pamela (Pam) R. Klipsch, Director of Jefferson County Library in High Ridge, Missouri, as the recipient of the 2019 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award. The award will be presented at the opening session of the 2019 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Klipsch has been a champion of intellectual freedom for over three decades in the states of Illinois and Missouri through her work with the Illinois Library Association and the Missouri Library Association, and at the national level, within the Freedom to Read Foundation and the American Library Association.

For over twenty years, Klipsch has been active in the Missouri Library Association, serving on both the Missouri Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) and as a member of its Legislative Committee. As a result, she understands Missouri State politics well. In 2014, as part of her work with the Missouri IFC, she successfully persuaded her State Representative, Republican John McCaherty, to sponsor a bill in the Missouri House of Representatives that extended Missouri’s state library records law to protect the confidentiality of library patrons’ personally identifiable information and of the electronic media they access through their library’s portal, even when their access is authenticated by third party vendors. The bill, which became law in August 2014, put teeth in this protection of library patrons' confidentiality by allowing any patron whose confidentiality is violated to bring suit in the county in which the library is located to recover damages, and the court may add punitive damages. It is considered the gold standard of library patron confidentiality legislation.

At the national level, Klipsch is a long-time member of the Freedom to Read Foundation and has faithfully attended its semi-annual board meetings for more than three decades. She served on the FTRF Board of Trustees from 2008-2019 and again from 2015-2017 as an ex-officio member.

Former FTRF Board of Trustees President Martin Garnar wrote, “Because of the demands of being IFC chair, it is not uncommon for that person to function more as an observer on the FTRF board. Pam, of course, did not follow that path, but was fully engaged in board discussions and activities, and we benefited from her insightful comments based on her long years of experience with intellectual freedom issues.”

In addition to her work with FTRF, Klipsch has been every present with other intellectual freedom arms of the library world. For over thirty years, she has been a member of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT), serving as a board member, chair, and as the first IFRT counselor from 2000-2003. She has served numerous terms on the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, chairing it from 2015-2017. She has authored and edited many interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights used by the library profession. She was particularly instrumental in the creation of “Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights,” approved by ALA Council in June 2017. As a former five-term Council member, she helped the ALA policy-making body work through many difficult intellectual freedom issues.

The FTRF Roll of Honor was established in 1987 to recognize and honor individuals who have contributed substantially to the foundation through adherence to its principles and/or substantial monetary support. For more information about the Roll of Honor and other FTRF grants, awards, and scholarships, visit


Yumeka Brown

Program Officer

American Library Association

Freedom to Read Foundation