Longtime ALA Intellectual Freedom Leader Judith Krug Dies
April 16, 2009
Judith Fingeret Krug, longtime director of American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and executive director of the Freedom To Read Foundation (FTRF), died April 11 after a year-long fight with stomach cancer. She was 69.
ALA officials said she died at Evanston Hospital in suburban Chicago. Krug was a staunch fighter against censorship and founder of Banned Books Week. She had been head of the OIF since 1967.
Krug, according to a statement forwarded by ALA Executive Director Keith Fiels, “worked tirelessly to guarantee the rights of individuals to express ideas and read the ideas of others without governmental interference. Through her unwavering support of writers, teachers, librarians, and above all, students, she has advised countless numbers of librarians and trustees in dealing with challenges to library material. She has been involved in multiple First Amendment cases that have gone all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”
“Her legacy is a lifetime of passionate commitment, advocacy, and affirmative actions to protect the Constitutional rights of citizens granted under the First Amendment,” Fiels said.
The common definition of “librarian,” editorialized Dorothy Samuels in the April 15 New York Times , (which also published a respectful obituary), “leaves out the larger role librarians play in our democracy, facilitating access to information and ideas and promoting and protecting a precious First Amendment right: the freedom to read. No one took that role more seriously than Judith Krug…”
Celebrate National Library Week and honor the work of Judith Krug by reading a banned book.