2001 Paul Howard Award for Courage recipient named

Contact: Cheryl Malden



ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

May 2001

2001 Paul Howard Award for Courage recipient named

Doug Henderson, director, Loudon County Public Library, Leesburg, Va., is the 2001 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Paul Howard Award for Courage.

The $1,000 bi-annual award and citation honors a librarian, library board, library group or individual who has exhibited unusual courage for the benefit of library programs or services.

The Loudoun County Library Board adopted one of the most restrictive public library Internet access policy's in the nation, starting a 14-month-long lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. Henderson, in opposition to the policy, led his library system through the divisive and disruptive period to new highs in customer service demands and satisfaction. Henderson withstood personal attacks as he advocated open access to information. He advised the trustees to abide by the Library Bill of Rights and follow the professional standards for Internet use - letting patrons select their own filtering, if desired.

"Henderson was selected for defending his citizen's rights to information access with courage and grace, and for demonstrating the highest professional ethics," Award Chair Melissa Malcolm said.

"His courage and commitment to library standards and freedom of ideas is a credit to his profession," said Mary Gail Swenson, Loudoun County Library Board of Trustees.

Henderson is an active member of the ALA. He has received numerous awards including the John Cotton Dana Award. He has a bachelor's degree from University of Florida and a master's in library science from Florida State University.

The Howard Award will be presented Tuesday, June 19, at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.