Nominations invited for annual Downs Intellectual Freedom Award

The iSchool at Illinois seeks nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The deadline for nominations is October 5, 2018.

Given annually, the award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. Granted to those who have resisted censorship or efforts to abridge the freedom of individuals to read or view materials of their choice, the award may be in recognition of a particular action or a long-term interest in and dedication to the cause of intellectual freedom.

The Downs Award was established in 1969 by the iSchool's faculty to honor Dean Emeritus Robert B. Downs, a champion of intellectual freedom, on the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as director of the School.

Previous winners have included the Kansas City Public Library (2017) for its defense of library patron's First Amendment rights; Wendy Campbell (2016) for her work in increasing cultural awareness in her community; HP Kids Read (2015) for its work in support of freedom to read at the Highland Park (TX) High School; the staff and board of trustees of the Orland Park (IL) Public Library (2014) for the defense of their policy to not filter adult Internet access in the library; and DaNae Leu (2013) for her efforts to keep a controversial picture book on the shelves of her elementary school library.

Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO Publishing Company, provides an honorarium to the Downs Award recipient and co-hosts the reception held in honor of the recipient. The reception and award ceremony for the 2018 Downs Intellectual Freedom Award will take place in January 2019 during the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

Letters of nomination and documentation about the nominee should be sent by October 5, to Associate Professor Terry Weech, either by email at weech@illinois.edu with a copy to ischool-dean@illinois.edu, or in paper form to:

Associate Professor Terry Weech
School of Information Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 East Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Please email any questions to Associate Professor Terry Weech.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Adler and Naiman selected for 2024 NIH Grant Writing Series program

Associate Professor Rachel Adler and Teaching Assistant Professor Jill Naiman have been selected for the 2024 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant Writing Series program in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI). Led by faculty who have demonstrated a history of success with NIH proposals, the biennial NIH Grant Writing Series is designed to prepare Illinois faculty to submit their first R01 or other individual investigator proposals to the NIH.

Kato joins recruitment and admission team

Todd Kato joined the iSchool on January 29 as a senior admissions and records manager. In this position, he will develop and implement innovative programs and processes for admission and records management across all the School's degree programs.

Todd Kato

Sun selected as 2024 PTC Emerging Scholar

Assistant Professor Meicen Sun was selected as a 2024 Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) Emerging Scholar and presented her research at the PTC Annual Conference, which was held from January 21-24 in Honolulu, Hawaii. PTC is a global, nonprofit organization promoting the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Pacific Rim. 

Meicen Sun

Cross joins the Research Services team

Julia Cross joined the iSchool in January as a research development coordinator. In her position, she supports faculty during different stages of the research process, helps identify funding sources and pair researchers with specific solicitations, monitors compliance with different research protocols, and provides support to programs such as Scholars in Residence, research fellowships, and the student research experience. 

Julia Cross

Spectrum Scholar Spotlight: Janelle Lyons

This “Spectrum Scholar Spotlight” series highlights the School's scholars. MSLIS student Janelle Lyons earned her BA in French and Francophone studies from the University of Florida and her MA in international affairs from The George Washington University.

Janelle Lyons