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Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award
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About the award | Current award recipient | Past award recipients

Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award

CLA's Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award honors Californian people, groups, and organizations that have made significant contributions to intellectual freedom. Awardees are selected based on recent or important lifetime contributions to intellectual freedom.

The Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award honors the memory of California librarian Zoia Horn (1918-2014), who in 1972 chose to serve time in jail rather than betray confidential information. Ms. Horn's experience sets an example of integrity over personal comfort, and has been a model discussed in library literature and shared with generations of library students everywhere. A key goal of the Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award is to celebrate and honor other selfless examples of commitment to intellectual freedom that help preserve free speech in an open society.

A maximum of one award is given each year. The Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award recipient is honored at the annual CLA conference. The award is coordinated by CLA's Intellectual Freedom Committee.

Submit a nomination for the Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award.


2016 Award Recipients

Erin Berman


Erin Berman is the Innovations Manager for the San José Public Library. She was an American Library Association’s Emerging Leader in the class of 2014, was named one of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers in 2016 and is currently the Chair of the Fundraising Committee on the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Round Table. Her work in the library field has mainly focused on S.T.E.A.M. education and bridging the technology divide. These projects include Pop-Up Mobile Makerspace, which invited new ways of thinking about public urban space design, the Virtual Privacy Lab empowering people to take control of their online identities, and the soon to launch Maker[Space]Ship, a state-of-the-art mobile lab.



Julie Oborny


Julie Oborny is a Web Librarian for San José Public Library, where she focuses primarily on analyzing, designing, and developing the library's online experiences. As an advocate for privacy, intellectual freedom, and technology literacy, she valued the opportunity to work on the design and development team for the Virtual Privacy Lab—a free resource that helps people optimize their online privacy. She holds a Master of Library & Information Science degree from San José State University.




Kate Roberts

Information not available.



Award Information 

Nomination period
The 2017 award nomination period has closed.


  • Persons nominated for this award are not required to be CLA members.
  • Nominators are not required to be CLA members. However, if a nomination is made by a non-member, the nomination must be endorsed by a CLA member. If you need assistance in finding a CLA member to endorse your nomination, please contact the CLA office no later than two weeks prior to the deadline.

How to nominate
Nominators should submit:

  • A statement confirming the nominee's qualifications for the award, plus supporting evidence. The statement may include, for example, information about policies and procedures relating to intellectual freedom that the nominee has written, approved, and/or implemented; a description of programming activities which encourage and/or support intellectual freedom; documented reports of the role the nominee has played in promoting intellectual freedom; or any other relevant information that demonstrates the nominee's role in actively promoting intellectual freedom. (Not to exceed 1,000 words.)
  • At least two letters of support and/or items of supporting documentation such as newspaper, newsletter, or journal articles.

Please note: when submitting supplementary files by email, please label your files as follows: Zoia_the nominee's last name_document (e.g.: Zoia_smith_newspaper article; Zoia_smith_newsletter).

Nominations should be submitted using the online nomination form below. Supplementary files may be emailed to Shana Sojoyner. 

Further information

  • CLA's Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award is coordinated by CLA's Intellectual Freedom Committee.
  • The committee reserves the right not to give an award if a qualified candidate is not found.
  • Award recipients will be asked to submit a photograph to be used in award publicity.
  • Nominations and all supplementary materials must be received by 5:00pm on the submission deadline. Postmarks will not be accepted.
  • If you have questions, please contact committee chair Melanie Lightbody.

Nominate Now! 

2017 Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award Committee

  • Alison De Gues, Palo Alto City Library
  • Jesse Koshlaychuk, Santa Cruz Public Libraries
  • Melanie Lightbody, Butte County Library (Chair)
  • Anissa Malady, South San Francisco Public Library
  • Julie Oborny, San Jose Public Library
  • Derek Stalcup, Ventura County Library
  • Lauren Talbott, County of Los Angeles Public Library
  • Chris Warburton, County of Los Angeles Public Library