ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Krug earns Brennan Award

Contact: Steve Zalusky

Manager of Communications,

ALA Public Information Office

(312) 280-1546


For Immediate Release,

January 13, 2009

CHICAGO - The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression announced today that Judith F. Krug, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), will receive the William J. Brennan Jr. Award.

Krug is only the fifth recipient of the award since it was first given in 1993. She will receive formal recognition in Chicago on July 12 at the Freedom to Read Foundation's 40th Anniversary Gala, which will be held in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Located in Charlottesville, Va., the Thomas Jefferson Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution dedicated to protecting free expression in all its forms. The Center pursues that mission through education, research and intervention on behalf of the First Amendment freedoms of free speech and free press

The William J. Brennan Jr. Award recognizes a person or group for demonstrating a commitment to the principles of free expression followed by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice. This year, the center honors Krug’s remarkable commitment to the marriage of open books and open minds.

Krug, director of OIF since 1967, as well as the director of the office’s Freedom to Read Foundation since 1969, has fought would-be censors over everything from Huckleberry Finn to the Internet. She has tirelessly worked to protect and promote the library as a First Amendment institution. Often in the face of great personal criticism, Krug has never wavered in her defense of First Amendment freedoms, whether testifying before Congress, leading legal challenges to unconstitutional laws or intervening hundreds of times to support and advise librarians in their efforts to keep particular books available to the public.

Krug earned her B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and her M.A. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago. In 2005, Krug received an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Humane Letters, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Early in her career, Krug held positions in various Chicago libraries, including reference librarian at the John Crerar Library and head cataloger at the Northwestern University Dental School Library. Before assuming her present duties in the Office for Intellectual Freedom, she was the research analyst for the American Library Association.

Past recipients are: Georgetown Law professor and First Amendment advocate David Cole in 2004; President of New York’s Nassau Community College and ardent defender of academic freedom Sean Fanelli in 2001; owner of Denver’s Tattered Cover independent bookstore and founder of Colorado Citizens Against Censorship Joyce Meskis in 1996; and Texas attorney Anthony Griffin, who received the first Brennan Award in 1993 for his extraordinary defense of First Amendment freedoms on behalf of the Texas ACLU.