Knox receives Beta Phi Mu Award

Emily Knox
Emily Knox, Associate Professor

Associate Professor Emily Knox has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the American Library Association's Beta Phi Mu Award. This annual award is given in recognition of a library school faculty member's achievement or another individual's distinguished service to education for librarianship. The award, which consists of $1,000 and a citation of achievement, is sponsored by the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honor Society.

Knox holds an MSLIS from the iSchool at Illinois and a PhD from Rutgers University School of Communication and Information.  She has an extensive record of scholarship and has made a lasting impression as a leader, scholar, professor, mentor, and colleague.

Knox is known for thinking critically about issues that will impact libraries in the future—namely, intellectual freedom, accessibility, and diversity. She lends her voice to this canon in libraries across the country and in larger venues such as NPR, The Washington Post, and Slate.

Colleagues and students alike hold her advocacy and mentorship in high regard. Her students appreciate her ability to break down ethical issues related to policy and admire her perspectives on understanding the tensions between policy and justice. They view Knox's classroom as a safe space to lend their voice to complex issues. Additionally, her colleagues admire her ability to balance administrative roles with classroom responsibilities.

Knox is equally skillful at engaging students and colleagues outside of the classroom and beyond the university. She held several leadership roles on the Beta Phi Mu International Society Executive Board and currently serves as chair of the National Coalition Against Censorship board. She is an expert advisor to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) and editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.

Knox's scholarship also focuses on advocacy and intellectual freedom. Her publications, which include books such as Foundations of Intellectual Freedom, Foundations of Information Ethics, and Book Banning in 21st Century America, collectively provide a road map for engaging and understanding issues that are critical to the field but also address broader issues of civil discourse in the United States.

The Beta Phi Mu Award jury was impressed by Knox's leadership, commitment to advocacy, and willingness to work directly with future librarians to build their knowledge, skills, and professional awareness.

"It's an honor to receive this award, especially in light of the continuing threats to public and school libraries and library workers across the country," said Knox. "I hope that my work highlights the people who are on the frontlines of censorship fights."

The award will be presented on June 25, 2023, at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Winning exhibit features recipes from across the globe

MSLIS students Yung-hui Chou, Alice Tierney-Fife, and Elizabeth Workman are the winners of this year’s Graduate Student Exhibit Contest, sponsored by the University of Illinois Library. Their exhibit, "Culture and Cuisine in Diaspora: A Hidden Library Collection," displays items from seven campus libraries and highlights research and recreational material centered on traditional recipes from across the globe. The exhibit is on display in the library's Marshall Gallery through the end of April and also available online.

Trainor receives the Karen Wold Level the Learning Field Award

Senior Lecturer Kevin Trainor has been selected by the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) to receive the 2024 Karen Wold Level the Learning Field Award. This award honors exemplary members of faculty and staff for advocating and/or implementing instructional strategies, technologies, and disability-related accommodations that afford students with disabilities equal access to academic resources and curricula. 

Kevin Trainor

Seo coauthors chapter on data science and accessibility

Assistant Professor JooYoung Seo and Mine Dogucu, professor of statistics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California Irvine, have coauthored a chapter in the new book Teaching Accessible Computing. The goal of the book, which is edited by Alannah Oleson, Amy J. Ko and Richard Ladner, is to help educators feel confident in introducing topics related to disability and accessible computing and integrating accessibility into their courses.

JooYoung Seo

iSchool instructors ranked as excellent

Fifty-five iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Fall 2023. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. 

iSchool Building

ConnectED: Tech for All podcast launched by Community Data Clinic

The Community Data Clinic (CDC), a mixed methods data studies and interdisciplinary community research lab led by Associate Professor Anita Say Chan, has released the first episode of its new podcast, ConnectED: Tech for All. Community partners on the podcast include the Housing Authority of Champaign County, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Project Success of Vermilion County, and Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office.

Community Data Clinic podcast logo