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Roll of Honor: Gordon Conable
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2005 FTRF Roll of Honor inductee Gordon M. Conable


About Gordon M. Conable

Gordon M. Conable, then-President of the Freedom to Read Foundation, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, January 12, 2005, as he was preparing to attend the FTRF Board Meeting at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Gordon was an unsurpassed champion of intellectual freedom, a wise and generous mentor to many, a consummate librarian, and a true leader of our profession. He gave many years of dedicated service to the Foundation, serving as Treasurer, Vice-President, and seven years as President.  He was added to the FTRF Roll of Honor in 1996.

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 was previously director of the Monroe County, MI, Library System, where he stood strong for the principles of intellectual freedom, never so much as in 1992, when he weathered an intense controversy over Madonna's book Sex. Before that he was associate director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library in Washington. Above all things, Gordon cherished and adored his wife, Irene, and their son, Ted. 

In Gordon's memory, his family and FTRF set up the Conable Fund, which provides support for the Conable Conference Scholarship. In addition, the Public Library Association created the Gordon M. Conable Award, sponsored by LSSI, which recognizes public libraries and librarians who have demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.

Awards & Honors 

1994 Michigan Public Administrator of the Year

2000 John Phillip Immroth Intellectual Freedom Award


News & Features

ALA Memorial Resolution honoring Gordon Conable

Toledo Blade obituary 


Roll of Honor Citation

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 
the country. 

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 
intellectual freedom. 

June Pinnell-Stephens, President
Judith F. Krug, Executive Director

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