For immediate release | June 7, 2011

Barbakoff receives 2011 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship

CHICAGO - The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is pleased to announce that Audrey Barbakoff, a reference librarian with the Milwaukee (Wis.) Public Library, is the fourth recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship. The Conable Scholarship will provide for Barbakoff’s expenses to attend the 2011 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in New Orleans.

As part of the scholarship, Barbakoff 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 her experiences and thoughts. She will be recognized at the FTRF Annual Member Reception from 5 - 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 23 in room 354 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Barbakoff holds a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington, which she received in 2010. In her capacity at the Milwaukee Public Library, she provides reference and readers’ advisory services; coordinates programs and displays; and blogs. She also coordinates the Teen Advisory Board and leads preschool story times. Barbakoff is a member of the Wisconsin Intellectual Freedom Round Table and recently had an article about the ethics of filtering computers in public libraries published on the peer reviewed website In the Library with the Lead Pipe. This will be her first ALA Conference.

“Audrey’s application stood out amongst a group of excellent applicants because of her eloquent and passionate advocacy for policies and practices that protect the intellectual freedom rights of all library users in today’s digital environment. The committee also was impressed by her dedication to library services for young people, from preschool to teens,” said Conable Scholarship Committee Chair Candace Morgan.

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 or call (800) 545-2433 x4226.