In Memoriam Judith Fingeret Krug

Judith Krug

Judith Fingeret Krug, 69 passed away April 11, 2009 at Evanston Hospital. Advisor, author and public servant, she was a remarkable leader in the struggle to educate the public concerning the right to the free expression of ideas. Judy was an inspiration to all who knew her.


Judith Krug, librarian, tireless advocate for First Amendment rights, dies

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Remembering Judith

Colleagues remember Judith

"For more than four decades Judith Krug inspired librarians and educated government officials and others about everyone’s inviolable right to read. Her leadership in defense of the First Amendment was always principled and unwavering. All who had the privilege to work with her admired her, learned from her example, and enjoyed her sense of humor. Her professional legacy is the thousands of librarians and others who share her commitment to intellectual freedom. I and all of ALA’s members express our deepest sympathy to Herbert Krug and the rest of his family as they mourn Judith’s passing and celebrate her remarkable life." (More)
- Jim Rettig, president, American Library Association

"As a librarian for over thirty years, I heard of Judith Krug long before I ever met her or worked with her. As a Junior High School Librarian in an impoverished community, fresh out of library school, I came to know ALA and the Office for Intellectual Freedom as an outspoken opponent of the censorship that is all too common in schools.

“Over the years, I saw the critical role that Judith and the Office played in protecting libraries from the forces of censorship and in promoting tolerance and the First Amendment rights of all library users. Each year, ALA helped thousands of libraries threatened by censorship. With 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, the work of Judith and the OIF took on a new urgency as the government sought to overturn long-established rights of library users to read freely without fear of government surveillance." (More)
-Keith Michael Fiels, executive director, American Library Association

"Judith tirelessly defended intellectual freedom and American libraries in every imaginable forum. She testified effectively before Congress and the courts, was interviewed uncounted times (often at the drop of a hat) by local and national media, debated potential censors from the right, left and middle -- always staying on point and in control. She made herself available to all manner of national, state and local library organizations as speaker and resource person. She had a hand in almost every Supreme Court case of the past four decades that touched upon libraries and the freedom for people to read, view or hear what they would – usually successfully. Along the way she recruited and inspired uncounted new recruits to the cause of intellectual freedom. I am proud to have been one of her recruits, to have had her as a mentor, to have stuck around long enough to have become a colleague, and to be able to call her friend." (More)
-J. Douglas Archer, chair, Intellectual Freedom Committee

"Judith had an abiding faith in the power of 'the community of the book.' She was convinced that when librarians, publishers, booksellers, and authors stand together in defense of intellectual freedom we are unstoppable. She believed in our obligation to take on that fight wherever and whenever it arose, and more often than not she led the charge. Hers was the first voice raised in a call-to-arms against the Communications Decency Act and she was largely responsible for pulling together the coalition that challenged the CDA and won. I was with Judith in San Francisco the day the Supreme Court handed down its unanimous ruling and to call our celebration that evening “Bacchanalian” would be an understatement. Judith’s was literally the first voice raised in warning against Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act and the threat it represented to reader privacy, and it is no accident that Section 215 came to be known as “the library provision” (although nowhere in its language is the word “library” mentioned). She considered it a badge of honor that former Attorney General John Ashcroft dismissed the protests of civil libertarians against the excesses of the Patriot Act as having been organized by 'a bunch of hysterical librarians." (More)
- Judith Platt, president, Freedom to Read Foundation

Judith In The News

Judith Krug - Editorial | Appreciations
By Dorothy Samuels - New York Times