As part of the scholarship, Freeman will attend FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and programs at the conference, consult with a mentor/board member, and present a report about his experiences and thoughts. He will be recognized at the FTRF Annual Member Reception from 5–6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 26 outside room N101 of the Las Vegas Convention Center .
"We had a number of excellent applicants for the Conable Scholarship. Mack stood out," said Conable Scholarship Committee member Candace D. Morgan. "We were especially impressed by his statement that 'IF issues are local, so the advocates for IF must also be. I want to acquire the skills that allow me to promote IF on a regional and national stage. Through this scholarship the FTRF will provide me with the opportunity to look after the future of IF as both an advocate and future mentor.'"
Freeman received his MLIS from Valdosta State University in December 2013. After his undergraduate degree, he spent a year as an AmeriCorps serving at an elementary school in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. He currently works for the Tifton-Tift County Public Library in Tifton, Georgia. He is very involved with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the ALA, currently acting as a member of both their Web and News Committees. He will become the chair of the News Committee after Annual 2014. In addition to this, he was the Games and Gaming Round Table's representative on the first ever Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant.
"I'm very excited to have received the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship," said Freeman. "This will be my first time at Annual, and I'm looking forward to the experience. I believe that it's every librarian's job to protect intellectual freedom, and I wanted to use this opportunity to learn more about what I can do in this ongoing fight." The Conable Scholarship was created to advance two principles that Gordon Conable held dear: intellectual freedom and mentorship. Gordon Conable was a librarian and intellectual freedom champion in Michigan and California 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.
The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association (http://www.ala.org/) . FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect - and individuals to access - information.