For immediate release | May 22, 2019

Utah Library Association receives the 2019 Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) announces that the Utah Library Association is the 2019 recipient of the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award.

The Utah Library Association (ULA) took the lead in building a coalition of partners and creating a media campaign to reinstate access to EBSCO databases for more than 650,000 students after the Utah Education Network (UEN) blocked access over complaints that EBSCO databases contained pornographic content. ULA’s rapid response and coalition building resulted in the reinstatement of access to EBSCO databases for students across Utah.

The award will be presented at ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. at the IFRT Awards Recognition and Fundraiser Breakfast featuring Sanford Ungar, director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University, on Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.

The Hodges Award recognizes an organization that has developed a strong multi-year, ongoing program or a single, one year project that exemplifies support for intellectual freedom, patron confidentiality, and anti-censorship efforts. The award is named after Gerald Hodges, an ALA staff member from 1989 to 2006. Chapter relations and intellectual freedom were his passions and he willed a portion of his estate to support those efforts. The award consists of $1,000 and a citation and has been given since 2013.

Members of the Coalition Building Committee are: Chair Shenise McGhee, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Jordon Andrade; Brian Greene, Wyoming State Library; Heather Hopkins; Sarah Houghton, California Digital Library; Isabel Klein, Cuyahoga County Public Library; and Michael Oetting, Hinsdale Public Library.

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.


Kristin Pekoll

IFRT Staff Liaison

American Library Association

Intellectual Freedom Round Table