Emily Knox

Associate Professor

PhD, Communication, Information, and Library Studies, Rutgers University

Research focus

Information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, print culture and reading practices.

Honors and Awards

  • 2024 ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award (Senior Faculty)
  • 2024 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Campus Excellence in Public Engagement Emerging Faculty Award
  • 2023 Illinois Library Luminary – Illinois Library Association
  • 2023 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom.
  • 2023 American Library Association/Beta Phi Mu Award of achievement for distinguished service to education for librarianship
  • 2023 Beta Phi Mu Distinguished Member Award
  • 2022 iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • 2022 Chicagoan of the Year for Books. Named along with library workers by the Chicago Tribune
  • 2020-21 University of Illinois Building Pathways for Emerging Leaders at Illinois Program Participant
  • 2019-20 University of Illinois School of Information Sciences Centennial Scholar
  • 2019-20 University of Illinois Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) Faculty Fellow
  • Teacher Ranked as Excellent (Fall 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020; Spring 2016, 2017; Summer 2017)
  • 2015 WISE Instructor of the Year
  • 2015 Illinois Library Association Intellectual Freedom Award


Emily Knox is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include information access and intellectual freedom and censorship. She is a member of the Mapping Information Access research team.

Her most recent book, Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (ALA Neal-Schuman), won the 2023 Eli M. Oboler Prize for best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. Her previous book, Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield), is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. She has been interviewed by media outlets such as NPR and The New York Times and also testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on book banning.

Knox is chair of the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.

She received her PhD from the doctoral program at the Rutgers University School of Communication & Information

Publications & Papers

For a full list of publications, please visit Emily Knox's Google Scholar page.


Knox, E.J.M. (2023). Foundations of Intellectual Freedom. Chicago, IL: ALA/Neal-Schumann.

Winner of the 2022 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. 

Knox, E.J.M. (2015). Book Banning in 21st Century America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.  


Burgess, J.T.F. & Knox, E.J.M. (Eds.) (2019). Foundations of Information Ethics. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, London: Facet. 

Knox, E.J.M. (Ed.) (2017). Trigger warnings: History, theory, context. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 


Knox, E.J.M. (Forthcoming). Embodiment, endorsement, and policy: Considerations for intellectual freedom in the library. Information & Culture.

Oltmann, S.M., Knox, E.J.M., Peterson, C. (2021). The significance of access to information—and the challenges it faces in librarianship. Library Philosophy and Practice

Knox, E.J.M. (2020). Intellectual freedom and social justice: Tensions between core values in librarianship. Open Information Sciences, 4(1). 10.1515/opis-2020-0001.  

Knox, E.J.M. (2019). Silencing stories: Challenges to diverse books. International Journal for Information, Diversity & Inclusion, 3(2). 10.33137/ijidi.v3i2.32592. 


Knox, E.J.M. (2022). Censorship and children’s literature. Karen Coats & Deborah Stevenson (Eds.) A companion to children’s literature. New York, NY: Blackwell.  

Knox, E.J.M. (2021). Agility in an age of information ubiquity: Freedom of expression and information policy. In Duff, A.S. (Ed.) Research Handbook on Information Policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. 


Knox, E.J.M. (2021, September/October). LIS and the Next Crisis: Learn from COVID-19 to plan for the future. American Libraries.