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Roll of Honor
Lucille C. Thomas2007 recipient - Past President, Brooklyn Public Library
Judith F. Krug1995 recipient (deceased) - FTRF Executive Director from 1969 founding to 2009

Conable Conference Scholarship
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Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship

Applications for the  Conable Conference Scholarship are now closed. 

If you have questions please contact us at (312) 280-4226 or


What is the Conable Conference Scholarship?

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) offers an annual scholarship for library school students and new professionals to attend ALA's Annual Conference. The goal of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship is to advance two principles that Gordon held dear: intellectual freedom and mentoring.

The Conable Scholarship provides for conference registration, transportation, housing for six nights, and a $300 stipend for meals and other expenses. The recipient also will receive a one-year membership in the Freedom to Read Foundation.  In return, the recipient will be expected to attend various FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and programs at conference, consult with a mentor/board member, and present a report about their experiences and thoughts.

The 2016 ALA Annual Conference will be held in Orlando, FL,  June 23-28, 2016.

The Conable Scholarship is supported entirely by your contributions.  To make a donation to the Conable Fund, please click here or call us at (312) 280-4226.


Who is eligible?

Students currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited library and information studies degree program or an AASL-recognized master’s programs in school librarianship and new professionals (those who are three or fewer years removed from receiving an LIS degree) are eligible to receive the Conable Scholarship.

Note: If the recipient is already registered for ALA’s Annual Conference, he or she will have their conference fee refunded.

The conference scholarship winner will be expected to arrive on Wednesday and stay through Monday afternoon.


How to apply

The application requires a resume, two references, and an essay of up to 500 words describing your interest in intellectual freedom issues and how you will use your attendance at an ALA conference to further your interest in intellectual freedom during and after the conference.  Your resume should include your education, work history, and volunteer experience.

Application deadline: Applications for the Conable Conference Scholarship are now closed.

Applications for the 2016 Conable Conference Scholarship will open in February 2016.

Email or call (800) 545-2433 x4226 with any questions.


Past Recipients

Mack Freeman Amanda Meeks Steven Booth Audrey Barbakoff Aubrey Madler Amanda Sharpe 


Who was Gordon M. Conable?

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 and the FTRF board to create the Conable Fund, which provides funding for the Conable Scholarship.

Gordon was executive vice president for public libraries at Library Systems and Services (LSSI) in Riverside, CA. He was responsible for management and performance of LSSI's public library contracts, including the 30-branch Riverside County, CA system. He also served as director of the Monroe County (MI) 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 was a recipient of 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.


Donate to the Conable Fund

You can donate to the Gordon M. Conable Memorial Fund here.  Additionally, you can donate by calling (312) 280-4226 or sending an email to You also can send a check, payable to Freedom to Read Foundation, to 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Please put "Conable Fund" in the memo section of your check.



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