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Roll of Honor: David Cohen
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2005 FTRF Roll of Honor inductee David Cohen (1909-2015)

David's family has asked that contributions in his name be made to the Freedom to Read Foundation. You may do so here.


About David Cohen

David Cohen's library career spanned eight decades. In addition to his career as professor at Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, he was co-founder and coordinator of ALA's Ethnic Materials Information Exchange Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table, the precursor to the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT); trustee of the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund; co-founder of the Long Island Coalition Against Censorship; director of the Friends of Queens College library; and charter member of the Freedom to Read Foundation. 


Awards & Honors 

1986 New York Library Association Intellectual Freedom Award

1998 GALE/EMIERT Multicultural Award [This award is now called the David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award.]

2003 Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Education Achievement Award

David was awarded with an ALA Honorary Membership in 2007.


News & Features

ALA Honorary Membership announcement 

Press release announcing David's Roll of Honor award

Librarian David Cohen to Celebrate 100th BirthdayWestern Queens Gazette, April 15, 2009

FTRF Blog post honoring David

"Do We Need a More Precise Definition of Multiculturalism?" - David Cohen, EMIE Bulletin, Winter 1996

The journal Multicultural Review published in article in 2006 about David Cohen:  "David Cohen: A Tribute to the Found Emeritus of the ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT)".  Multicultural Review; Dec 2006, Vol. 15 Issue 4 p.96 


Roll of Honor Citation

THANK YOU, David Cohen, for decades of work to ensure that the world of 
knowledge is available to all. Your unflagging enthusiasm is contagious, 
and your understanding of the essential role of libraries is unsurpassed. 

Thank you, David, for your belief in and support of the Freedom to Read 
Foundation from its inception in 1969. As a founding member, your 
support allowed the Foundation to thrive in its earliest stages, and your 
continuing membership has been an integral component of the 
Foundation’s ongoing successes. 

Thank you, David, for your involvement—locally and nationally—in a 
wealth of activities that support the First Amendment: from co-founding 
the Long Island Coalition Against Censorship to your many speaking 
engagements and writings; from your involvement with the Intellectual 
Freedom Round Table to your memorable term as Trustee (and greatest 
champion) of the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund. 

Thank you, David, for your landmark work for multiculturalism in 
librarianship. You recognized long ago that libraries must be accessible to 
all members of our communities, and that all the information therein must 
also be accessible, in order for libraries to fulfill their missions. 

Thank you, David Cohen, for inspiring generations of librarians and 
students at Queens College and elsewhere. Your twin passions for justice 
and knowledge are as evident today as ever. Because of your untiring 
efforts, the Freedom to Read Foundation, American Library Association, 
and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are stronger. 

John W. Berry, President
Judith F. Krug, Executive Director 
Chicago, Illinois 
June 2005


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