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

  • 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 (she/her) is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Her book, Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield) is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. 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. Knox’s articles have been published in the Library Quarterly, Library and Information Science Research, and Open Information Science.

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

Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics and policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. She is also a member of the Mapping Information Access research team.

She has been interviewed by media outlets such as NPR, the Washington Post, Time, and Slate.

Knox received her PhD from the doctoral program at the Rutgers University School of Communication & Information. Her master’s in library and information science is 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.

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. 


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.