Megan Schliesman, a long-time librarian at the Cooperative Children’s Books Center (CCBC) of the School of Education at UW-Madison and manager of its intellectual freedom services for the past eleven years, is the winner of the 2014 Intellectual Freedom Award. The award is given jointly by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA).
Besides managing the CCBC Intellectual Freedom Information Services, Schliesman also manages its online forum, “What IF . . . Questions and Answers on Intellectual Freedom.” She currently serves on the American Library Association/Association for Library Service to Children Board, and is a past member of the ALA/ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee. She is past chair of the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association’s Intellectual Freedom Special Interest Group, and a past member of the Wisconsin Library Association Intellectual Freedom Roundtable board.
The authors of the nomination letter recommending Schliesman note, “Megan exemplifies the spirit of intellectual freedom through her unflagging support for those defending against censorship and her outreach to inform others about intellectual freedom. Being a librarian at the CCBC is more than a job for Megan, it is a calling that she takes seriously. Wisconsin is fortunate to have Megan as an intellectual freedom advocate and defender of minors’ First Amendment right to read.”
Schliesman will be honored at the WEMTA Awards Luncheon on Monday, March 24, 2014 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Recognition will also be given during the WLA Conference in the Fall, 2014.
Since 2010, WLA and WEMTA have collaborated to give the annual intellectual freedom award. This award recognizes the contribution of an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Wisconsin.
The award is given based on the following criteria:
- Role in actively promoting intellectual freedom in their sphere of influence and beyond;
- Degree to which an individual or group exemplifies the spirit of intellectual freedom; and
- Efforts to promote intellectual freedom and challenge censorship.
Recipients are selected by a joint WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award Committee. Members of 2014 Committee were: Carin Bringelson, chair (Director of Online Content & Collections, TeachingBooks.net, Madison, Wisconsin); Nell Fleming (Librarian, Wisconsin School of the Deaf Library, Delavan, Wisconsin); Kristina Gómez (Librarian/Business & Technology, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, Wisconsin); Kristin Pekoll (Young Adult/Reference Librarian, West Bend Community Memorial Library, West Bend, Wisconsin); Susan Siel (Library Media Teacher, Bradford High School, Kenosha, Wisconsin); and Rachel Muchin Young (Director, Franklin Public Library, Franklin, Wisconsin).