Applications open for 2011 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, sponsored by FTRF

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/31/2011

Contact:

Barbara Jones

CHICAGO - The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) has opened applications for the 2011 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, which will enable a library school student or new professional to attend ALA’s 2011 Annual Conference, held June 23-28 in New Orleans.

The goal of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship is to advance two principles that Conable held dear: intellectual freedom and mentorship.

The scholarship provides for conference registration, transportation, housing for six nights and six days per diem. 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.  The recipient also will be invited, although not required, to provide daily updates about his or her experience on the Office for Intellectual Freedom blog.

The deadline for submitting an application for the 2011 Conable Scholarship is Friday, April 8; the award will be announced in May.

Students currently enrolled in a library and information studies degree program and new professionals (those who have worked in librarianship for three years or less) are eligible to receive the Conable Scholarship. Those interested must submit an application that includes two references and an essay detailing their interest in intellectual freedom issues. Applicants also are required to attach a résumé. If the recipient is already registered for ALA’s Annual Conference, he or she will have the conference fee refunded.

To apply for the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, visit http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/oifprograms/ifawards/conablescholarship/conable.cfm. For more information, please contact Bryan Campbell at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4220 or bcampbell@ala.org.

Gordon Conable was a California librarian and intellectual freedom champion who served several terms as president of the Freedom to Read Foundation. He was executive vice president for public libraries at Library Systems and Services (LSSI) in Riverside, Calif., and was responsible for management and performance of LSSI’s public library contracts, including the 30-branch Riverside County, Calif., system. He also served as director of the Monroe County (Mich.) 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 received 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. 

Following his unexpected death in 2005, his wife and FTRF created the Conable Fund, which provides funding for the Conable Scholarship.  To date, three Conable Scholarships have been granted.  To contribute to the Conable Fund, contact the Freedom to Read Foundation at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4226 or e-mail ftrf@ala.org.

The Freedom to Read Foundation, a sister organization of the American Library Association, was founded in 1969 to promote and defend the right of individuals to freely express ideas and to access information in libraries and elsewhere.  FTRF fulfills its mission through the disbursement of grants to individuals and groups, primarily for the purpose of aiding them in litigation, and through direct participation in litigation dealing with freedom of speech and of the press.