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Remembering Judith, Part 2: Judith Platt

Posted By Jonathan M. Kelley, Friday, April 11, 2014
Five years ago today, Judith Krug passed away. To honor her memory, we are posting a series of remembrances on the Freedom to Read Foundation blog throughout the day.  If you would like to add a memory, please feel free to email or post a note in the comments.

Here are the other parts in the series:
Part 1: Barbara Jones
Part 3: Chris Finan
Part 4: Eva Poole, Mary Minow, Mary Curtis
Part 5: 2009 Memorials

Our second remembrance comes from 
Judith Platt, Director of Free Expression Advocacy, Association of American Publishers

Little did I realize when I first came to the Association of American Publishers in 1979 that Judith, who was already a legend, would become my colleague and friend and that the collaboration, trust and love that developed between us over the course of more than a quarter century would head the list of personal and professional joys of my working life.

Judith and I got to see a great deal of each other in the ensuing years.  If  possible, she never missed a meeting  of my Freedom to Read Committee in New York  and I tried to be at as many meetings of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee as I could manage, and at  Freedom to Read Foundation Board meetings after I became a trustee.  We were bound by a shared belief in the importance of keeping open lines of communication between the publishing and library communities and in the certainty that a strong alliance of publishers and librarians was essential to the fight for intellectual freedom.  And, wherever we found ourselves, at ALA Annual Conference, at Midwinter, at AAP Annual Meetings, we always set aside one evening just for us, for the comfort of dinner with an old friend. 

Judith was remarkable.  I believe she would have changed the world no matter where or when she had lived.  She would have been equally at home as a facilitator of the Underground Railroad, or a Suffragist fighting for women’s rights, or a member of the French Resistance.  It was our great good fortune that she was of our time and place and that her passion and intelligence were put to work in defending our right to read and speak and think freely.

It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since Judith’s death.  Often, when the phone rings in my office I expect to hear her on the other end, talking me into taking on some new challenge and making me believe it had been my idea all along.  If we have been diminished by Judith’s death, we have been immeasurably enriched by her legacy and the  best way to honor that legacy is to continue the good fight.

Tags:  Judith Krug remembrances 

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