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FTRF names Amy Steinbauer and Gretchen LeCheminant as Conable Scholarship recipients

Tuesday, May 19, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jonathan Kelley
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The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) has selected Amy Steinbauer and Gretchen LeCheminant as recpients of Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarships. The Conable Scholarships will provide for Steinbauer's and LeCheminant's expenses to attend the 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in San Francisco.

As part of the scholarships, the recipients will attend FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and programs at the conference, consult with mentors, and each will present a report about her experiences and thoughts following the conference. They will be recognized at the FTRF Annual Member Reception from 4:30–6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 25 outside room 131N of the Moscone Convention Center.

This is the first time in the eight-year history of the Conable Scholarship that multiple awards have been given.

"We are so fortunate to have two talented recipients this year," said Conable Scholarship Committee chair Em Claire Knowles. "Having two new scholars to celebrate and mentor as we champion our commitment to intellectual freedom throughout the conference in San Francisco, and then to sustain their work back in their communities, is encouraging opportunity for all of us."

LeCheminant is a student at the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) School of Information. In her capacity as co-director of the UTA & Texas Library Association student group, she helped to organize a Banned Books Week photo booth. She also served as co-editor with Camille Callison and Loriene Roy of the forthcoming Indiginous Notions of Ownership & Libraries, Archives, & Museums, a book about the needs of indigenous peoples.  She will be going into youth services, where she hopes to combine the love and understanding that teenagers have for new media with the fundamental and long-standing right to read as supported by libraries. 

Steinbauer also was active with her student chapter of ALA while attending University of Hawaii. She continued her activism after graduating while volunteering in public school libraries.  One reference spoke of Amy's strong commitment of keeping diverse books in school libraries.  Furthermore, as she has moved into public libraries, she continues to support youngsters in their wide selection of choices and to help make diversity books remain on the shelves.  Steinbauer currently works for the Beaumont Library District in California and resides in Riverside, where Gordon Conable lived for many years until his death.

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. 

To donate to the Conable Fund, please visit or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 4226.