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FTRF Offers Scholarships to Advance IF Education and Leadership

Wednesday, March 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Applications are now open for the 2017 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), and four half scholarships for students to attend “Intellectual Freedom and Censorship,” a 2-credit graduate course in Intellectual Freedom offered through the University of Illinois iSchool, sponsored by the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund.

“The Foundation is very pleased to offer these scholarships supporting LIS students and new professionals as they learn about the theory and practice of intellectual freedom,” said FTRF Board President Martin Garnar.

The Conable Conference Scholarship provides funding for an LIS student or recent graduate to attend the American Library Association's Annual Conference. The 2017 ALA Annual Conference will be held June 22-27 in Chicago. The goal of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship is to advance two principles that Conable held dear: intellectual freedom and mentorship. The scholarship provides for conference registration, transportation, and housing for six nights, along with a $300 stipend for meals and other expenses. In return, the recipient is expected to attend FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and events at the conference, consult with a mentor/board member, and provide a report about their experiences. The recipient also will receive a one-year FTRF membership and will be invited to provide updates about his or her experience on the Freedom to Read Foundation blog.

"Being a Conable Scholar allowed me not only to attend the ALA annual conference and participate in meetings, round tables, and social events,” said 2016 award-recipient Katie Chamberlain Kritikos,“it also created lasting relationships with other intellectual freedom advocates in the FRTF and OIF who are now mentors, colleagues and friends." .

FTRF is pleased to also offer four half scholarships ($700 each) and textbooks for “Intellectual Freedom and Censorship,” an online graduate-level course on intellectual freedom for library and information science (LIS) students around the country. The course will be taught by iSchool professor Emily Knox, who was awarded the 2015 Instructor of the Year award by the WISE (Web-based Information Science Education) consortium.

“Our culture is at a tipping point, a shift in its tolerance for the First Amendment,” said James LaRue, director of FTRF and the Office for Intellectual Freedom. “It is imperative that today’s library students have a deep and thoughtful exposure to the value of free speech.”

The deadline to apply for the Conable Conference Scholarship or the “Intellectual Freedom and Censorship” course scholarship is April 21, 2017. Learn more and apply at you have questions, contact the Freedom to Read Foundation at or 312-280-4226.