Gordon was the recipient of the 1996 Roll of Honor Award.
It's hard to overstate the importance of Gordon's tenure with the Freedom to Read Foundation as a member, a trustee, and an advocate. Following his death in 2005, FTRF created a fund in his name; donations to the fund are used to bring library school students and new professionals to attend ALA's Annual Conference. Visit http://www.ftrf.org/?page=Conable_Fund for more information.
While in Monroe County, Michigan, Gordon found himself in the center of a controversy when community members wanted Madonna's book "Sex" removed from the shelves. Gordon successfully defended the community's ability to access the book from the library.
THANK YOU, Gordon Conable, for championing the cause of intellectual
freedom, a hallmark of your distinguished career in librarianship.
Thank you for your generous financial contributions and many years of
dedicated service to the Freedom to Read Foundation, including serving as
Treasurer, Vice-President, and three terms as President.
Thank you for consistently raising the visibility of the Foundation and
proclaiming its message not only within the library profession, but throughout
Thank you for your steadfast devotion to the freedom to read for all persons,
regardless of age, economic condition, or philosophical beliefs.
Thank you for your unfailing support and assistance to colleagues facing
challenges to the freedom to read in their communities.
Thank you, Gordon Conable, for your exemplary service to the cause of
June Pinnell-Stephens, President
Judith F. Krug, Executive Director
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.