Associate Professor and BS/IS Program Director Emily Knox has been named the iSchool's Centennial Scholar for 2019-2020. Endowed by alumni and friends of the School, the Centennial Scholar award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and/or professional promise in the field of library and information science.
"It is with very great pleasure that we present Emily Knox with this year's Centennial Scholar Award," said Dean Allen Renear. "Emily is already one of the leading intellectual freedom scholars in library and information science. Her innovative, influential work on censorship in public schools and libraries not only shapes how we understand libraries and their communities but also provides deep insights into attitudes toward the power and effects of reading and how those attitudes are integrated into our social and political lives. Her work ranges widely, from censorship to trigger warnings to information ethics. The importance of these topics today needs no justification, and we are looking forward to the insights and understanding her future work will bring."
Knox's research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. She is especially concerned with how people justify censorship, where censorship takes place and who is responsible, and how information professionals respond to censorship.
"My research analyzes individual and institutional responses to information that they find objectionable or upsetting and informs both practical information ethics and the development of policy for information provision in libraries and other information institutions," said Knox. "I provide empirical analysis of how people use their social and symbolic power to impede access and justify censorship, which leads to a better understanding of why and how information is targeted."
Knox's books include Book Banning in 21st Century America; Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan on a Shoestring; Trigger Warnings: History, Theory, Context; and Foundations of Information Ethics, which she co-edited with John T. F. Burgess. Her work has been published in journals such as Library & Information Science Research, Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy, and Library Quarterly. Her most recent article, "Silencing Stories: Challenges to Diverse Books," was published in International Journal for Information, Diversity & Inclusion.
At the iSchool, Knox teaches Intellectual Freedom and Censorship; Social Aspects of Information Technology; Information Organization and Access; Information Ethics; and Libraries, Information, and Society. She has also taught Information Policy and Reference and Information Services. In 2018 she was selected to provide leadership for the School’s new BS in Information Sciences (BS/IS) degree.
Knox is president of the Board of Trustees of the Freedom to Read Foundation, a nonprofit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association; a director on the board of the Association for Information Science & Technology; and the vice president/president-elect of Beta Phi Mu, the international honor society for library and information studies.
Knox received her PhD from the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University and her MS from the iSchool at Illinois. She also holds a BA in religious studies from Smith College and an AM in the same field from The University of Chicago Divinity School.