For immediate release | April 18, 2022

IFRT awards 2022 Hodges Award to two Tennessee Organizations

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table's Coalition Building Committee will award the 2022 Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award to the Tennessee Library Association (TLA) and the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL).

For the past two years, Tennessee has seen an increase in attempts to censor library collections, displays, and programming in local institutions and state legislation. In response, the Tennessee Library Association and Tennessee Association of School Librarians joined forces with other state and national organizations to form a statewide advocacy ecosystem. The Tennessee Library Ecosystem Coalition (TLEC) was pivotal to defeating adverse library legislation in the state house and defending library materials under attack in Hamilton County. TLA, TASL, and FOTL drafted and published a statement opposing censorship in libraries. The Tennessean and the TN Holler have since published the joint statement, amplifying the anti-censorship message and the core values of librarianship.

TLA and TASL continue to collaborate on intellectual freedom professional development and advocacy projects on the harms of censorship. The award will be presented on Friday, June 24th at 7pm ET at ALA's Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

Members of the Coalition Building Committee are: Chair Eldon Ray James, retired researcher; Dr. Jennifer Steele, The University of Southern Mississippi, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science; Jeremy Brett, Texas A&M University Cushing Memorial Library; and Isabel Klein, Children's Branch Services Librarian Supervisor, Cuyahoga County Public Library.

The Coalition Building Committee, charged with administering the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award, recognizes that effective coalition building in units provides the necessary framework to oppose censorship at the ground level.

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