The 2008 Public Service Award is presented to Congressman Vern Ehlers (R-MI) in grateful appreciation for his support of librarians and libraries through service on local and state library boards in Michigan and for his support for school libraries and librarians through sponsorship of the SKILLs Act.
Representative Vern Ehlers (R-MI) has been a very good Friend to libraries on the local, state and federal levels. He served both on his local library board and the Michigan State Library Board. At the federal level, he has been one of the few Republicans to sign onto ALA’s appropriations efforts year after year. Currently, he is a co-sponsor of the loan forgiveness efforts for librarians. Perhaps most importantly, Ehlers is one of the original sponsors of the Skills Act which:
- Requires school districts, to the extent feasible, to ensure that every school within the district employs at least one state-certified school library media specialist in each school library;
- Establishes as a state goal that there be at least one highly qualified school library media specialist in every public school;
- Broadens the focus of training, professional development, and recruitment activities to include school library media specialists;
- Ensures that funds will serve elementary, middle, and high school students; and
- Requires books and materials to be appropriate for and engage the interest of students in all grade levels and students with special learning needs, including English language learners.
The 2008 Public Service Award was presented to Congressman Vern Ehlers at Library Legislative Day sponsored by the Washington Office of the American Library Association.