For immediate release | March 24, 2020

Henry Reichman Receives IFRT Oboler Memorial Award

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) announced Henry Reichman as the recipient of the 2020 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award ⁠— which recognizes the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom ⁠— for his book "The Future of Academic Freedom," published in 2019 by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Reichman is Professor Emeritus of History at California State University, East Bay. Since 2012 he has served as chair of the American Association of University Professors' Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. In "The Future of Academic Freedom," Reichman equips readers to defend academic freedom by illuminating its meaning, the challenges it faces and its relation to freedom of expression.

The Oboler Award selection committee selected "The Future of Academic Freedom" because of its high literary quality, outstanding references and research, and the importance of its message. The selection committee agreed that the content is not just for academic libraries, but also libraries and institutions of every kind that deal with intellectual freedom and censorship. The section committee gave it high marks for interest, readability and relevancy, as many institutions are grappling with these issues regularly.

The Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, which consists of $500 and a certificate, will be presented to Reichman at the IFRT Awards Recognition Breakfast at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on Saturday, June 27, 2020 7:30-9 a.m.

The award was named for Eli M. Oboler, the extensively published Idaho State University librarian known as a champion of intellectual freedom who demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom of expression. The award has been offered biennially since 1986. Members of the Eli M. Oboler Committee are: Chair Trish Hull, Salt Lake County Library West Valley Branch; Hannah Duff, Largo Public Library; Steven Greechie; Carole E. Nowicke, Ivy Tech Community College; and Angela Lynn Ocana, Eugene Public Library.

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table 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; and promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.


Ellie Diaz

Program Officer

Office for Intellectual Freedom