For immediate release | May 3, 2011

ALTAFF awards 2011 Public Service Award to Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ)

PHILADELPHIA – The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will award the 2011 Public Service Award to Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) during National Library Legislative Day activities in Washington, D.C., on May 9.

In 2009, Congressman Grijalva introduced the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act, better known as the SKILLs Act, which would establish a goal of having not less than one highly qualified school library media specialist in each public school. In addition, it proposes to increase student academic achievement through strategies such as improving the quality of teachers, school library media specialists and principals; and increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in the classroom, highly qualified school library media specialists in the library and highly qualified principals and assistant principals in schools. While the bill has not been reintroduced in this Congress, Grijalva remains a strong supporter of the act and of libraries.

Grijalva was born and raised in Tucson, Ariz. From 1974 to 1986, he was a member of the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Governing Board, serving as chairman during his last three years on the board. He was the first Latino elected to TUSD in more than 100 years. As a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Grijalva worked to assure funding for early childhood and preschool programs. He has successfully worked to improve funding to Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and to enhance outreach and services to Limited English Proficient children and their families.

The Public Service Award is given annually by ALTAFF to a legislator who has been especially supportive of libraries. The first award was presented in 1989 to Congressman Major Owens (D-NY), the only librarian serving in Congress. Other awardees include Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) and Representative Peter Hoekstra (R-MI).


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. For more information, visit, or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or


Jillian Kalonick