CHICAGO — The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) has named Steven Booth, an archivist with the Presidential Materials Division at the National Archives and Records Administration, the fifth recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship. The Conable Scholarship will provide for Booth's expenses to attend the 2012 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
As part of the scholarship, Booth will attend various FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and programs at the conference, consult with a mentor/board member and present a report about his experiences and thoughts. He will be recognized at the FTRF Annual Member Reception from 5 - 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 in room 201A of the Anaheim Convention Center.
Booth received his Master of Library Science with an emphasis in Archives Management from Simmons College in Boston in 2009. He holds a B.A. from Morehouse College in Atlanta. As an intern at Boston University, he helped produce an electronic finding aid for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers. Booth's essay, "A Charge to Keep I Have," appears in the recently published book "The 21st Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges." His study and work as an archivist has led him to become an advocate for open access to archived material for all, rather than for a select few. At the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, he is looking to "find opportunities to bridge the ongoing library and archival great divide" and in "developing strategies geared towards intellectual freedom collaborative projects and programs."
“Steven’s interest in connecting archiving with intellectual freedom principles helped lift him to the top of a very strong and diverse applicant pool," said Conable Scholarship Committee Chair Candace Morgan. "The committee was impressed by his dedication to improving access to archived material, even when the material might prove uncomfortable. His selection underscores the Freedom to Read Foundation’s mission, which opposes censorship in a wide variety of institutions – not just libraries.”
The Conable Scholarship was created to advance two principles that Gordon Conable held dear: intellectual freedom and mentorship. 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, Irene Conable and the FTRF Board to create the Conable Fund, which provides funding for the Conable Scholarship.
To donate to the Conable Fund, please visit http://www.ala.org/groups/affiliates/relatedgroups/freedomtoreadfoundation/relatedlinks/conablememoralfund or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 4226.