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Intellectual Freedom Champions

Oregon Library Association 
2018 Intellectual Freedom Champion Award

At the 2018 Oregon Library Association annual conference in Eugene, OR, on April 20, 2018, the Intellectual Freedom Champion award was presented to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

A photo of Charles Brownstein of the CBLDF, with members of the OLA IFC. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) is a nonprofit organization that relocated to Portland, OR, in 2016. The CBLDF provides “legal aid, education, and advocacy to protect the First Amendment rights of the readers, creators, retailers, publishers, and librarians of comics, manga, and graphic novels.” In March 2018, the CBLDF helped produce the free, online comic book Be Heard, which provides information to students about their right to protest and how they can exercise that right effectively. The organization also responds to attempts to ban books with proactive resources, letters of support and behind-the-scenes guidance for librarians. CBLDF's mission extends beyond the library realm in ways that include providing legal aid for comic book creators, retailers and publishers; legislative monitoring; litigation in areas related to free expression; and an extensive proactive education program.
CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein was on hand to receive the award. He noted, "Oregon has a strong heritage of free thinking and free expression. That spirit of activism, inquiry, tolerance, and diversity helped draw the CBLDF to Oregon, and inspires us to do our best to serve this extraordinary community. We're proud that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a part of this state's tremendous culture of intellectual freedom."

 Information about the award

The Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Oregon Library Association offers the OLA Intellectual Freedom Champion of the Year Award in recognition of the contribution made by an individual, group of individuals, or an organization or institution that has actively promoted or defended intellectual freedom in Oregon.  The Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Oregon Library Association administers the Award and presents it at the Annual Awards Banquet held at the OLA Annual Conference.

Do you know an Intellectual Freedom Champion in Oregon?  Please consider nominating them for the award.  Nominations are due two months before each year's OLA annual conference.  For more information, please contact the chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee.  Current chair(s) are listed on the About the Intellectual Freedom Committee page.

 IF Award Information and Criteria (pdf)

 Intellectual Freedom Champion Award Nomination Form alt  (pdf)

 Intellectual Freedom Champion Award Nomination Form alt  (Word)


Intellectual Freedom Champion Award Recipients

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
In recognition of their work to promote intellectual freedom,
from Oregon across the United States and the rest of the world

Jean Gritter - Albany School District, Library Media Specialist
Blain Willard - Albany School District, Teacher
Jason Hay - Albany School District, Director of Secondary Curriculum
In recognition of their courageous efforts in support of their students’ freedom to read

Senator Ron Wyden - United States Senate
 In recognition of his forceful and sustained campaign
to protect the privacy rights of individuals from government surveillance

Katie Anderson - Oregon State Library, Youth Services Consultant
In recognition of distinguished service to libraries in Oregon
through the promotion and support of intellectual freedom

Jean Townes - Albany School District, Teacher Librarian
In recognition of courage in the face of a book challenge

ACLU Oregon
In recognition of outstanding efforts in support of intellectual freedom in Oregon

Heather McNeil - Deschutes Public Library, Youth Services Coordinator
In recognition of distinguished services to libraries in Oregon

Judy Harold
In recognition of distinguished services to libraries in Oregon

Deborah Jacobs and Mary Ginnane - Multnomah County Library
In recognition of distinguished services to libraries in Oregon

Candace Morgan -Intellectual Freedom Activist
In recognition of distinguished services to libraries in Oregon