With censorship and book bans still on the rise, defending intellectual freedom remains vital. And one powerful way to defend intellectual Freedom is is to honor those who fight for it. In that spirit, the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table Committee is soliciting nominations for three annual Intellectual Freedom Awards:

The John Phillip Immroth Award honors "the courage of a living individual, group, or organization setting an example for the defense and furtherance of the principles of intellectual freedom. The award consists of a citation and $500. Applications are now open and are due December 1.

Immroth was a teacher, author, scholar, advocate, and defender of First Amendment rights, and founder and first Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in 1973. The award, was established upon Immroth's death in 1979, honors the courage, dedication, and contribution of a living individual, group, and is administered by the Immroth Committee, which seeks out and recognizes personal courage and contributions to intellectual freedom.

The Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award honors a literary work or series of works in the area of intellectual freedom. This can include matters of ethical, political, or social concerns related to intellectual freedom and the work can be nonfiction or fiction, youth, teen, or adult. Last year, the award was expanded to include journal articles (though this year's award will focus on books, committee members told PW). The award is $500 and a certificate and is presented at the ALA Annual Conference each year. Applications are now open and the submission deadline is December 1.

The award was named for Eli M. Oboler, the extensively published Idaho State University librarian known as a “champion of intellectual freedom who demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom of expression.” The award was given first at the 1986 Annual Conference in New York.

The Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award recognizes "an intellectual freedom focused organization that has developed a strong multi-year, ongoing program or a single, one-year project that exemplifies support for intellectual freedom, patron confidentiality, and anti-censorship efforts." It consist a citation and $1,000 award. Applications are now open for the 2023 award and are due by January 1.

The award is named after Gerald Hodges, a former director of membership services whose passion was intellectual freedom. Upon his death in 2006, Hodges willed a portion of his estate to support ALA's intellectual freedom efforts. The Hodges Award is administered by the Coalition Building Committee which recognizes that effective coalition building and collaboration between organizations provide the necessary framework to defend censorship at the ground level.