Merritt Fund

At the urging of David Cohen, the Intellectual Freedom Round Table voted in 2004 to create an ad hoc committee to help promote the existence of LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund. A 2008 vote by the IFRT membership formalized the Merritt Fund Support Committee. We want to be sure that it remains a known, and viable, resource for librarians who are facing discrimination and/or censorship challenges and who may benefit from applying to the Merritt Fund for personal financial assistance under extreme circumstances.

We are engaging in promotional efforts aimed at increasing the Web presence of the Merritt Fund. If you are connected to an organization that deals directly with librarians, please consider linking to the Merritt Fund site:

merritt fund logo

The following is additional language that could be used to describe the Web link:

The LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund was established by the American Library Association in 1970 as a special trust in memory of Dr. LeRoy C. Merritt. It is devoted to the support, maintenance, medical care, and welfare of librarians and library workers who, in the Trustees’ opinion, are:

  • Denied employment rights or discriminated against on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, or place of national origin; or
  • Denied employment rights because of defense of intellectual freedom; that is, threatened with loss of employment or discharged because of their stand for the cause of intellectual freedom, including promotion of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, the freedom of librarians to select items for their collections from all the world’s written and recorded information, and defense of privacy rights.

A full description of the Fund, including instructions on qualifications for assistance, how to apply, and a profile of Dr. Merritt are all available at

Donate to the Merritt Fund

Note: The Merritt Fund is supported solely by donations and contributions from concerned groups and individuals. Contributions to the Merritt Fund are not tax-exempt, because they are used to give direct aid to individuals without reference to Internal Revenue Service requirements regarding tax-exempt organizations. Hence, contributions do not qualify as personal tax dedications for donors.

You can donate online at the Merritt Fund donations page. Alternatively, you can donate by phone at 800-545-2433 x4226 or mail a check payable to LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund to 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611.

For more information about the Merritt Fund, contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom at 800-545-2433, ext. 4226; e-mail: