The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government has been awarded the Intellectual Freedom Award from the Tennessee Library Association.
The award recognizes the contribution of an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Tennessee.
Anthony Prince, a TLA board director and the cataloging manager for Brown-Daniel Library at Tennessee State University, presented the award Thursday at the TLA’s annual conference in Memphis.
“Intellectual freedom — the right to seek, receive, hold, and disseminate information from all points of view without restriction — is a core value of our profession and the cornerstone of democracy,” Prince said. “The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government deserves recognition for their work supporting this ideal.”
He noted TCOG’s “sustained, years-long effort to make governance transparent and public officials accountable in Tennessee.”
“The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government seeks to preserve, protect and improve citizen access to public information and open government in Tennessee through an alliance of citizens, journalists and civic groups. Their focus is research and education because they believe knowledgeable citizens are the best way to protect the free flow of information. TCOG provides: a hotline for open government issues, free public presentations about the ins-and-outs of Tennessee’s open records and open meetings law, and training for requesting public records. TCOG’s website offers practical advice about making a Public Records Act request including sample request letters. TCOG has coordinated statewide audits of local governments’ adherence to open records laws. One such audit helped lead to the creation of the Office of Open Records Counsel and the Advisory Committee on Open Government. TCOG’s blog and social media are a consistent source of news and a barometer of the state of government transparency in Tennessee.”
Deborah Fisher, executive director of TCOG, gave brief remarks at the conference, noting the importance of citizen rights to access information about their government.
TCOG was honored to receive this award from a group of professionals whose values include free access to information.
See past award recipients on TLA’s website.