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Martin Garnar Receives IFRT Immroth Memorial Award

The American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) Immroth Award Committee is pleased to announce Martin Garnar as the recipient of the 2021 John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, which honors significant contributions defending intellectual freedom.

Martin Garnar, 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.

Garnar is a tireless and influential champion of intellectual freedom who is well-respected by his colleagues. “Martin Garnar is a true advocate of intellectual freedom. Not only has he demonstrated his commitment to it professionally but has endeavored to instill what he has learned in others. He is truly deserving of the Immroth Award,” said Peter Coyl, Library Director, Montclair Public Library, Montclair, NJ.

“Martin, without any doubt, embodies the principles of intellectual freedom and ethics. He generously shares his knowledge with us through his writing, presentations, and conversations.Through Martin’s work, he has helped inform and educate others so that they too can continue to protect intellectual freedom and ethics,” said Sara Dallas, Director, Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS), Saratoga Springs, NY.

Established in 1979, upon the death of John Phillip Immroth, the Immroth Memorial 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.

Members of the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award Committee are: Chair, Cyndi Robinson, Illinois Library Association; Johannah Genett, Hennepin County Library; Kristin E. C. Green, Penn State University Libraries; Dr. Linda Parsons, Ohio State University; and Lynda Poling, Long Beach Public Library.

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.

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