Knox recognized for public engagement

Emily Knox
Emily Knox, Associate Professor

Associate Professor Emily Knox has been selected as the recipient of the Campus Excellence in Public Engagement Emerging Award. She will be honored on May 28 at a special event hosted by the Office of Public Engagement. 

Knox is internationally recognized for her expertise in information access, intellectual freedom, censorship, information ethics, and information policy. As the calls for banning books in schools and libraries have surged in recent years, Knox has been increasingly asked to share her expertise. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, given over thirty talks and workshops, and led library staff development programs at libraries across the country. 

"Her talks and workshops for professional audiences ensure that all library workers understand how the core values of information access and intellectual freedom apply to their work," wrote Professor Emerita Linda C. Smith in her letter of nomination for Knox's award.

Knox serves as chair of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and is the editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy. She is an active member of the American Library Association and past president of the Freedom to Read Foundation Board.

"Her leadership at a critical moment in the fight for free speech deserves recognition," wrote Christopher Finan, past executive director of the NCAC, in his letter of support for Knox.

Knox's book, Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield), is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars' Series, and her most recent book, Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (ALA Neal-Schuman), won the 2023 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award for best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. She has been interviewed by media outlets such as NPR, The Washington Post, Time, and Slate for her research on censorship and intellectual freedom.

Knox earned her PhD from Rutgers University School of Communication and Information and MSLIS 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.

"It is an honor to be recognized for my work advocating for intellectual freedom, the freedom to read, and the importance of libraries for communities," said Knox. "As a faculty member at a land-grant institution, it is vitally important that my work have a direct impact on the public."

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