Sunday, March 10, 2013

Scholarship promotes intellectual freedom at ALA Annual Conference

The Gordon M. Conable Scholarship offers the potential of a unique opportunity for this would-be library professional. Administered by the Freedom to Read Foundation, the scholarship will cover conference registration, transportation and housing for six nights and six days during the American Library Association Conference.

While only a volunteer, I encountered my first challenge in the form of books removed from a small church library. While the motivation was as probably theft, I reported the disappearance to the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Intellectual freedom is important to me as a lifelong user of libraries. I depend upon libraries to provide the information I need free of bias or ideology. Attempts at censorship subvert the work of librarians to serve their communities' information needs.

If accepted, the Gordon M. Conable Scholarship would provide me with valuable experience that would enrich my professional career. In the short term it would give me a venue for dialogue about an issue I care about. In the long term, it would prepare me for further challenges in my library career.

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