State and Regional Achievement Award winner named

Contact: Don Wood


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

June 2001

State and Regional Achievement Award winner named

The West Virginia Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee will receive the SIRS State and Regional Achievement Award presented by the American Library Association (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT).

The award, funded by SIRS Mandarin Inc., consists of a citation and $1,000. It recognizes successful and effective intellectual freedom committees or coalitions that have made a contribution to the freedom to read in libraries or to the intellectual freedom environment in which libraries function.

The West Virginia Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee, chaired by Yvonne Farley, reference librarian, Kanawha County Public Library, Charleston, W.Va., was selected for its work to build a successful coalition against mandatory Internet filtering that "should be a model for other states in the ongoing fight," according to Award Committee Chair Jo Ann Oliphant.

"The State and Regional Achievement Award Committee very much admires the West Virginia Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee," Oliphant said. "Presenting the award to Yvonne Farley, the committee's chair, is a great pleasure."

"I hope that what we were able to do in West Virginia inspires everyone involved with the Internet filtering issue to have heart," Farley said.

"Sometimes it seemed like a losing fight and that we were in way over our heads, but in an election year we stopped the Governor from putting mandatory filtering in all West Virginia libraries because of a united and informed library community, as well as strong support from other groups in our state-especially the newspapers," she continued. "We learned a lot about each other and about politics."

The award will be presented Saturday, June 16, 2 p.m., during the IFRT program in the Westin St. Francis Hotel, California West Room, at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Members of the award-winning Intellectual Freedom Committee were: Chris Hatten, librarian, Huntington Museum of Art Library; Virginia Rugeley, trustee, Kanawha County Library; Peggy Turnbull, staff librarian, Bluefield State College Library; Gibbs Kinderman, trustee, Pocahontas County Library; Mary Jane Howard, children's librarian, Cabell County Public Library; Richard Ressmeyer, Charleston, Library Friends; Jennifer Sias, reference & user services librarian, Marshall University Libraries.