CHICAGO - The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) has opened applications for the 2013 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, which will enable a library school student or new professional to attend ALA’s 2013 Annual Conference, to be held June 27-July 2 in Chicago.
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 events at the conference, consult with a mentor/board member and present a report about their experiences. The recipient also will receive a one-year membership to the Freedom to Read Foundation and will be invited, although not required, to provide daily updates about his or her experience on the Freedom to Read Foundation blog.
The deadline for submitting an application for the 2013 Conable Scholarship is Friday, April 5; the award will be announced in late April.
Who is eligible: Students currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited library and information studies degree program or an AASL-recognized master’s program in school librarianship 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 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.
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, five 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Freedom to Read Foundation, an affiliated 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.