Sharpe receives Freedom to Read Foundation 2009 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship

Contact: Jonathan Kelley

Program Coordinator, FTRF


For Immediate Release

June 9, 2009

CHICAGO - Amanda Sharpe, a graduate student in the University of California at Los Angeles’s Department of Information Studies, has been named the second recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Scholarship, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) announced today. The Conable Scholarship will provide for the conference registration, transportation and accommodations for Sharpe to attend the 2009 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago.

In return, she will be expected to 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 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, in Grand Ballroom D at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Sharpe holds a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Barbara and spent several years as an elementary school teacher before starting at UCLA last fall. She has extensive volunteer experience with Spanish-speaking and incarcerated youth in California. In addition to her responsibilities as the Conable Scholarship recipient, she will be giving a poster session at the ALA Annual Conference’s Diversity Fair.

“Amanda’s efforts in promoting reading to incarcerated youth was a key reason she was selected over an impressive group of applicants,” said Conable Scholarship committee Chair Candace Morgan. “The right of prisoners to have access to information is an issue that is increasingly prominent in the intellectual freedom community. The severe restriction of reading material to imprisoned young people does them – and society – no favors. We look forward to helping Amanda as she continues to shine a light on this area.”

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, ext. 4226.