“Banned Books Week” Founder Dies

Judith Krug was Diirector of American Library Association

The Evanston woman who, in 1982, founded "Banned Books Week" to "celebrate the freedom to read," died over the weekend after a long illness.

Judith Krug, who was also a director of the Chicago-based American Library Association, died Saturday at Evanston Hospital following a battle with stomach cancer.  She was 69.

Judith Platt, president of the ALA's Freedom to Read Foundation, said Krug had been sick for over a year.

Over her 40-year career, the Sun-Times reported, as director of the library association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, Krug advised countless numbers of librarians and trustees in dealing with challenges to library material. She was involved in multiple First Amendment cases that reached the U.S. Supreme Court, her husband said.

"When I think about our world today and, particularly, what's happening in the intellectual freedom arena," Krug is quoted on The Library of Congress web site as saying.  "I can't help but remember the old Chinese proverb, 'May you live in times that are interesting ... the issues confronting librarians today really are interesting and affect everything we do. They range from confidentiality and privacy to advocacy and access to ideas, from diversity to development, to name only a few. These issues are a part of our landscape, and that landscape encompasses the oldest medium – books – and the newest – the Internet."

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