The Virginia Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee is pleased to announce that the 1999 winner of the VLA/SIRS Intellectual Freedom Award is Douglas A. Henderson.
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The bi-annual award, supported by the commitment and generous support of the SIRS company, recognizes the contribution of a group or individual who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in the Commonwealth. Nominees are judged 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 of their efforts to promote intellectual freedom and challenge censorship.
This year the winner of the VLA/SIRS Intellectual Freedom award is Douglas A. Henderson, Library Director of Loudoun County Public Library. Mr. Henderson stood for access to electronic information during a 14 month fire storm over the restrictive Internet access policy imposed by the Loudoun County Public Library Board. During the legal suit Mr. Henderson advocated open access to information. He spoke out against the ideas of restricted access, appeared on television, and maintained his disagreement with the Board’s policy in a professional manner.
On October 29, 1999, Mr. Henderson received his award of $500.00 for himself, a $500.00 donation to Loudoun County Public Library, a commemorative plaque from SIRS, and an engraved Jefferson cup from the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The assembled audience rose to its feet as Mr. Henderson accepted his award, a fitting recognition of his principled stance on behalf of the librarians of Virginia.