Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship

The FTRF website has moved to www.ftrf.org.  For up-to-date information about the Conable Scholarship, please visit www.ftrf.org/?Conable_Scholarship.


What is the Conable Scholarship?

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) offers an annual scholarship for library school students and new professionals to attend ALA's Annual Conference. The goal of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship is to advance to principles that Gordon held dear: intellectual freedom and mentoring.

The Conable Scholarship provides for conference registration, transportation, housing for six nights, and per diem expenses. In return, the recipient will be expected to attend various FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and programs at conference, consult with a mentor/board member, and present a report about their experiences and thoughts.

The 2012 ALA Annual Conference will be held June 21-26 in Anaheim, CA.

Who is eligible?

Students currently enrolled in a library and information studies degree program, and new professionals (those who are three or fewer years removed from receiving a library school degree) are eligible to receive the Conable Scholarship. Those interested must submit an application including two references and an essay detailing their interest in intellectual freedom issues and how conference attendance will help further that interest. Applicants also are asked to attach a résumé, particularly those who are working professionals.

Note: If the recipient is already registered for ALA’s Annual Conference, he or she will have their conference fee refunded.

How to apply

The application requires a resume, two references, and an essay of up to 500 words describing your interest in intellectual freedom issues and how you will use your attendance at an ALA conference to further your interest during and after the conference.

Application deadline: April 6, 2012.  The recipient will be announced in May.

Email ftrf@ala.org or call (800) 545-2433 x4226 with any questions.

Past Recipients

Who was Gordon M. Conable?

Gordon Conable was a California librarian and intellectual freedom champion who served several terms as president of the Freedom to Read Foundation. His unexpected death in 2005 inspired his wife and the FTRF board to create the Conable Fund, which provides funding for the Conable Scholarship.

Gordon was executive vice president for public libraries at Library Systems and Services (LSSI) in Riverside, CA. He was responsible for management and performance of LSSI's public library contracts, including the 30-branch Riverside County, CA system. He also served as director of the Monroe County (MI) Library System from 1988-1998; during his tenure there, he withstood an intense controversy over Madonna's book Sex. Before that he was associate director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library in Washington. For his efforts, Conable was a recipient of the Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award and the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for "intellectual freedom fighters." In 1994 he was the first librarian recognized as Michigan's Public Administrator of the Year.