April 17, 2009 – Special Edition in Memory of Judith Krug
***Oregon Memories and Appreciation
On behalf of Oregon libraries I sent the following message to ALA’s collection point for memories about Judith Krug at “email@example.com“. Please share your tributes about Judith Krug by using the “leave a comment” tool below.
Judith Krug was a big help when the Oregon State Library established the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse in 1987. She supported us through challenges against “If Beale Street Could Talk” at a combined middle-high school library, through the dark days of the first round of the culture wars when the Oregon Citizens Alliance targeted books about homosexuality in statewide and local anti-gay initiatives (1992-1994), and when “Daddy’s Roommate” and “Heather has Two Mommies” were challenged in multiple public libraries. Intellectual freedom trainings sponsored by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, and well-presented by Judith and others had a ripple effect in Oregon as the content was shared and repeated in the state. Other substantial contributions developed with Judith’s leadership that continue to be well-used in Oregon are the interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom Manual. Judith was always generous in agreeing to attend state conferences and we in Oregon had the pleasure of hosting her a number of years ago. After that conference I remember a sunny deck, a home-cooked meal, lively laughing discussion by the librarians and lawyer in attendance, and there one of Judy Krug’s secrets was revealed — she never went to the grocery store! All shopping for the family was done by her husband. Party talk or not–it was a fun revelation about a goddess!
To Judy’s colleagues in the Office for Intellectual Freedom and ALA, we are sorry for your loss.
***Intellectual Freedom Toolkit
Judith’s trip to Oregon to help launch the OLA Intellectual Freedom toolkit was a turning point for many libraries – there was wonderful attendance at that workshop and the IF Committee subsequently received inquiries from libraries (particularly small ones) about the best way to implement policies which guaranteed that the principles of Intellectual Freedom be upheld.
One of my favorite “Judy stories” comes from a couple of years ago at a workshop she presented at Multnomah County Library. In making a point about the futility of censorship, she recounted a tale about a neighborhood swimming pool where parents were trying to come up with measures to ensure the safety of their children . . . should they build a six foot chain link fence . . . should they hire a full-time lifeguard (and so on). Judy said, “don’t you think it would just be easier to teach the children to swim”?
Corvallis-Benton County Library
Former member, OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee
***Conferences and Cats
I remember her trip to Oregon as part of the IF Toolkit presentation. She and I kept up and I would run into her at ALA often. She was such a force and deserves national attention… she could be a tough lady too when toughness was needed. There’s a story about Judy coming out to Oregon and staying at a colleague’s house. Judy apparently fell in love with her cat. I had a hard time seeing her as a cat person. Way too cosmopolitan or citified somehow.
There was a great article on her in the NY Times which is a big deal for anyone’s obit.
Valley Libraries, Oregon State University
Former Chair, OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee
A memory of Judy I have was running into her at ALA one time during a Council session, re-introducting myself and having her tell me that she knew very well who I was…She was so no-nonsense and so consistent in her defense of intellectual freedom, what an incredible inspiration.
Oregon State Library
Former coordinator of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse and OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee member