ALTAFF names Ryan and Welch ALA Trustee Citation recipients

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/01/2012


Jillian Kalonick

Marketing / Public Relations

United for Libraries (United)

800-545-2433 ext.2160

PHILADELPHIA —  The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has named Richard J. Ryan and Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch the recipients of the ALA Trustee Citation.

The ALA Trustee Citation, established in 1941 to recognize public library Trustees for distinguished service to library development, honors the best contributions and efforts of the estimated 60,000 American citizens who serve on library boards. 

Ryan has served as a Trustee of the Barrington (Ill.) Library for a total of 33 years. He served as board treasurer from 1974 to 1980 and board president for 25 years from 1985 to 2010. He is currently fulfilling a six-year term that ends in 2015. Even before he was elected to the board in 1974, he served on the Barrington Area Development Council’s ad hoc library committee and acted as co-chair of the library coordinating committee for publicity. In 1991, the library broke ground on a 31,000-square-foot addition and renovation project for the library he had help to build in 1978. The board is again studying population projections to plan for possible expansion.

Welch is president of the Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library Board of Trustees and serves as trustee at large on the ALTAFF board. Welch has served as board president for three out of her nine years on the board, has also served as vice president and parliamentarian and has chaired every committee at some point during her tenure. Welch served as a school media specialist from 1975 to 1996 and has also volunteered at Birmingham Public Libraries. She created a “Board Buddies” program, in which new Trustees were paired with experienced library board members. She also serves as a mentor to the newly-appointed president of the local Bessemer Public Library Board of Trustees. Welch nominated one of the 10 winners (out of 1,700 nominees) of the I Love My Librarian Award, Saundra Ross Forrest of Birmingham Public Library.

Ryan and Welch will be named as recipients of the ALA Trustee Citation at the Opening General Session of the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. More information about the ALA Trustee Citation is available on the ALTAFF website .

Members of Friends of the Library groups, Boards of Trustees, and representatives from library Foundations can attend ALTAFF’s nonticketed programs for as little as $35. More information about registering and ALTAFF events at the conference is available online.

For general information about the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., June 21-26, 2012, visit Use the Conference Scheduler to plan your time, create your calendar, and find out about many other highlights as they’re added —speakers, events, networking opportunities, and more.

ALTAFF is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. ALTAFF brings together library Trustees, advocates, Friends, and Foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. As of Sept. 4, 2012, ALTAFF will be known as "United for Libraries." For more information or to join ALTAFF, visit, or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or