Charge and Work
To select annually, a recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Award, which is designed to honor a public library staff member, a library trustee, or a public library, which has demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights. The recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Award must have demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights in various ways, including, but not limited, to the following: developed and promoted collections that include diverse points of view; provided programs that promote community dialog on controversial issues; created and nurtured an organizational climate that fosters an understanding of the Library Bill of Rights amongst the library staff, library board, and elected and appointed officials; initiated activities at the local, state, or national level that promote, support, or defend intellectual freedom, the Library Bill of Rights, or the first amendment; guaranteed open access to library materials and services for children and young adults; guaranteed open access to electronic information; defended library materials, programs, or services when confronted with a censorship challenge.
Deliverables and outcomes:
- For the jury chair and members:
- Stay apprised of the timeline in which PLA staff opens and closes the nomination application webpage via notices on PLA’s website and PLA members-only emails
- Review award applications and supporting materials
- Monitor award criteria and, if necessary, recommend changes in criteria or the jury’s charge
- Increase awareness of the award and the number of applicants by spreading the word about the call for nominations
- For the jury chair:
- Communicate meeting plans with the members of the jury
- Lead virtual deliberation meetings
- Vote on a winner in case of a tie among jury members
- Contact the award’s winner(s) and confirm their acceptance of award
- Complete jury selection form and send same to jury’s staff liaison
Expected time commitment:
- Review award applications and supporting materials (1–3 hours/year)
- Attend virtual deliberation meetings (2–3 hours/year)
- Respond to emails (1–2 hours/year)
Desired skills, knowledge, or experience:
- Experience working as a member of a virtual team
- Ability to critically analyze award submissions and eligibility criteria
- Strong communication skills
The Gordon M. Conable Award jury consists of members appointed from the membership at large serving 2 year terms and led by a chair.
Established at the request of the PLA Board.
To be a thriving, vibrant organization, PLA must have committed and active committee members. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please read and fill out the online volunteer form.
- Volunteers are accepted on an ongoing basis.
- Appointments are made by the PLA President and President-Elect, primarily in the spring.
- Volunteers must be members of ALA and PLA.
Stay connected with fellow PLA members in the PLA Member Community on ALA Connect. PLA personal membership is required to participate.