David Cohen named 2005 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award recipient

Contact: Judith Krug

Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom


For Immediate Release

May 19, 2005

David Cohen named 2005 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award recipient

CHICAGO - David Cohen, director of Friends of the Queens College Library and professor emeritus at Queens College, is the recipient of the 2005 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award.

Cohen's library career has spanned eight decades. His many contributions to the library community include serving as co-founder and coordinator of ALA's Ethnic Materials Information Exchange Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table, the precursor to the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT); trustee of the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund; co-founder of the Long Island Coalition Against Censorship; and charter member of the Freedom to Read Foundation.

In 1986, he was awarded the SIRS Intellectual Freedom Award by the New York Library Association. In 1999, EMIERT created the David Cohen Multicultural Award, which “encourages and recognizes articles of significant new research and publication that increase understanding and promote multiculturalism in libraries in North America.” In 2004, the ALA Council saluted Cohen with a proclamation for his lifetime achievement in multiculturalism and intellectual freedom in celebration of his 95th birthday.

“We are thrilled to present David with this year's Roll of Honor Award,” said FTRF Executive Director Judith Krug. “David has been a beacon in New York and nationally for generations of librarians and free speech advocates. He has been a stalwart supporter and member of the Freedom to Read Foundation from day one. His work on multicultural issues in librarianship is legendary, and he understands the importance of ensuring the availability of the full spectrum of ideas and information to the whole of society. As a writer, speaker, teacher, and librarian, he has proven himself a treasure.”

The award will be presented at the 2005 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference during the Opening General Session on Saturday, June 25, from 5:30–7 p.m. at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

The Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor was established in 1987 to recognize and honor those individuals who have contributed substantially to FTRF through adherence to its principles and/or substantial monetary support. FTRF was founded in 1969 to promote and defend the right of individuals to freely express ideas and to access information in libraries and elsewhere. FTRF fulfills its mission through the disbursement of grants to individuals and groups, primarily for the purpose of aiding them in litigation, and through direct participation in litigation dealing with freedom of speech and of the press.