New York Librarians Honor ABFFE

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The New York Library Association (NYLA) has presented its SirsiDynix Intellectual Freedom Award for 2011 to the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).

The award, established in 1984, “recognizes the value of intellectual freedom and honors those individuals or organizations that stand on guard in its defense.” Previous winners have included libraries and librarians who have fought censorship attempts, authors Anna Quindlen and Lewis Lapham, and the National Coalition Against Censorship.

In remarks at the annual NYLA convention, ABFFE President Chris Finan said that booksellers are grateful for the close relationship they have developed with librarians with whom they worked together to defend free speech. “We have been fighting side by side for many years now, and it is tremendously encouraging to know that we can count on your support in the battles ahead,” Finan said.

In the letter notifying Finan of ABFFE’s honor, Robert Hubsher, director of the Ramapo Catskill Library System and a member of NYLA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, wrote: “The education and promotion made available by ABFFE to booksellers and others and its commitment of protecting intellectual freedom are truly laudable. Our democratic way of life owes much to individuals like yourself and the organization you represent, who are willing to stand up to protect our First Amendment rights.”