John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award

The John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, presented annually, honors notable contributions to intellectual freedom and demonstrations of personal courage in defense of freedom of expression.

Established in 1979, upon the death of John Phillip Immroth, this 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. His impact on the ideal of intellectual freedom and its practice was great.

The Immroth Award is administered by the Immroth Committee which seeks out and recognizes personal courage and contributions to intellectual freedom.


Current Recipient

2021: Martin Garnar. Martin Garner, Director of Amherst College Library, is an active leader of the ALA intellectual freedom community, having served the profession in every capacity imaginable. Throughout his career, Martin has served as a trustee and president of the Freedom to Read Foundation, chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, chair of the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics, chair of the IFC Privacy Subcommittee, trustee of the Leroy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund, editor of the 10th edition and co-editor of the 9th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual, and councilor of IFRT. (ALA Press Release)

Immroth Recipients


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Sponsor and Deadline

The John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award is sponsored by the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) of the American Library Association (ALA). The deadline for nominations is December 1 of each year.