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Jamie M. Gregory Receives IFRT Oboler Memorial Award

The American Library Association’s Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award is given annually for outstanding work in the area of ​​intellectual freedom.

The 2022 awards cycle marked a change for the Oboler Prize. Starting this year, articles and books will be considered alternately. This change reflects the different scope of work and content required for different post types. This year, only paper submissions were considered. Works to be considered for the award may be single papers (including review papers), a series of thematically related papers, or similar work published locally, stately, or nationally in English or in English translation. Next year the awards committee will review the books. Books published in 2021 and 2022 will be considered for the 2023 award. Submissions for either type of work may be submitted at any time and will be considered for the next appropriate cycle.

This year’s winner is Jamie M. Gregory. Ms. Gregory is a National Board-certified teacher in library media and works as a high school librarian and journalism/newspaper teacher at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC. She writes blog posts for the Intellectual Freedom Blog of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

“With so many outstanding papers or groups of papers submitted, it was difficult to choose a winner,” said Michael Blackwell, Chair of the Oboler Prize Committee. “Not just the number of challenges, but the organization with which those challenges were issued makes 2022 the most troubling year for intellectual freedom advocates in living memory. Even by federal lawmakers, especially on works for and about people of color and LGBTQ+ people, often with misinformation and outright hatred, foreshadow a new era of repression that must be fought if we are to provide safe and culturally appropriate spaces. takes them to the forefront of these challenges, pointing out specific threats, interviewing leaders and especially young people threatened by efforts to suppress their rights, exposing injustice. She offers inspiring reflections on why we must resist and practical advice on how we can still prevail.This is an important chronicle of our time.

Ms. Gregory said upon receiving the news “I am incredibly honored to receive this recognition from the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable. Many state legislatures and local school boards misrepresent the meanings of intellectual freedom and free inquiry, and I feel honored to be given space by the Office for Intellectual Freedom to explore these issues and to make information available to those dedicated to ensuring the prosecution and enforcement of access for students to information and the free exchange of ideas. The goal is that by securing these rights, students will learn how and be motivated to contribute themselves to our national conversation as active and informed citizens.”

Ms. Gregory’s work can be found at Intellectual Freedom Blog. She will receive her award, including a $500 stipend, at the 2022 ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

Members of the Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award Committee are: Chairman Michael Blackwell, St. Mary’s County Library; Molly Dettmann, Normandy Public Schools; Eldon (Ray) James; Michael Kirby, Kingsborough Community College; Carole Nowicke, Ivy Tech Community College; and Amanda Vazquez of the Dubuque County Library District.

the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable (IFRT) provides a forum for discussion of the activities, programs and intellectual freedom issues of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communication on issues of intellectual freedom; promote greater opportunity for involvement among ALA members in the defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater sense of responsibility in implementing ALA policies on intellectual freedom.