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Sam G. Whitten Intellectual Freedom Award

The Sam J. Whitten Intellectual Freedom Award is awarded annually to an individual or organization in the library community who actively promotes intellectual freedom in Texas. The award is presented at the TLA Annual Conference.

Nominations due February 28.


Anyone who is actively promoting intellectual freedom in Texas is eligible for the Sam J. Whitten Intellectual Freedom Award. Intellectual freedom is defined by the American Library Association as “the freedom to express one’s beliefs or ideas through any mode of communication and the right of unrestricted access to all information and ideas regardless of the medium of communication used.”

Nominees are evaluated on:

  • The role they have played in actively promoting intellectual freedom in their sphere of influence and beyond;
  • The degree to which they exemplify the spirit of intellectual freedom; and
  • The impact that their efforts to promote intellectual freedom have had on the community and those they serve.

Supporting documentation can include information such as:

  • Examples of defending censorship attempts at their library or in their community
  • Descriptions of programming activities and other methods of encouraging intellectual freedom on a continuing basis in their community
  • Documented reports of the role which the nominee has played in promoting intellectual freedom.
Past Recipients