Jim Duncan Receives Immroth Award

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/14/2019


Kristin Pekoll

IFRT Staff Liaison

Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)

American Library Association



The American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) Immroth Award Committee is pleased to announce Jim Duncan as the recipient of the 2019 John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, which honors significant contributions defending intellectual freedom.

Duncan is the Executive Director of the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC). For over two years, Duncan and his organization have been targeted by an extremist group as "purveyors of pornography" for their role as a cooperative purchasing agent for library resources throughout the state of Colorado. CLiC helps lower the costs of library resources to every library in the state by establishing prices with database vendors. In October 2018, a lawsuit was brought against EBSCO and CLiC by the parents of a Cherry Creek School District student who claimed that their middle school aged daughter was able to access "hardcore porn" through the school district's EBSCO subscription.

Martin Garnar, Dean of the Kraemer Family Library, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, provided a powerful statement of support. Garnar writes that Duncan is “an outspoken defender of intellectual freedom for his role in fighting an ongoing challenge to the statewide EBSCO subscription package, and he has become an advocate for proactive responses to potential challenges. Jim took the initiative to develop a guide for librarians called Libraries Under Attack that provides clear guidance on how to get ahead of these challenges to EBSCO.”

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table applauds Duncan for resolutely defending the standards of intellectual freedom.

The award will be presented at ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. at the IFRT Awards Recognition & Fundraising Breakfast on Saturday, June 22, 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.


Established in 1979, upon the death of John Phillip Immroth, the Immroth Memorial Award honors the courage, dedication, and contribution of a living individual, group, or organization who has set the finest kind of example for the defense and furtherance of the principles of intellectual freedom. The award consists of a citation and $500. John Phillip Immroth was a teacher, author, scholar, advocate, and defender of First Amendment rights. He was the founder and first chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in 1973.

Members of the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award Committee are: Chair Rebecca Moorman, University of Alaska Anchorage; Michael Furlong, University of Central Florida; Tyrone Cannon, University of San Francisco; Russell Hall, Penn State University Erie; Eldon (Ray) James, Institutional Survey; Candace Morgan; Lynda Salem Poling, Long Beach Public Library; and Kelley Rowan, Florida International University.

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.