The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Eli M. Oboler Award is Evgeny Morozov, for his book The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom.
Jim Teliha, Chair of the Eli M. Oboler Award Committee, on the choice of Morozov: “Mozorov asks a number of vital and important questions in his book: Does the internet empower dictators and their opponents in equal measures? Are there some overlooked unfair advantages that the internet bestows upon the dictators? Is there something inherently liberating about the internet or might it simply follow in the footsteps of radio and television, becoming just another tool of propaganda and brainwashing in the arsenal of media-savvy dictators? Above all, if the internet is not the catalyst of social change that we thought it would be, could it be the glue that prevents authoritarian regimes from falling apart? Morozov tackles these questions with relentless energy and analytical savvy. Marshaling a compelling set of case studies, he shows why we must stop thinking of the internet and social media as instant cures for repression and how, in some cases, they can even threaten democracy.”
The Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, which consists of $500 and a certificate, is presented for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. The award was named for Eli M. Oboler, the extensively published Idaho State University librarian known as a “champion of intellectual freedom who demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom of expression.” Works to be considered for the award may be single articles (including review pieces), a series of thematically connected articles, books, or manuals published on the local, state or national level in English or English translation.
The official awards presentation will be held at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California on Saturday, June 23 at 11:30 am. Details to be announced at a later date.