For immediate release | May 3, 2011

Gail Guidry Griffin elected 2011-2012 ALTAFF vice president/president-elect

PHILADELPHIA – Gail Guidry Griffin, Trustee at Shreve Memorial Library, Shreveport, La., has been elected 2011-2012 vice president/president-elect of the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Griffin has served as Trustee at Large and is Trustee Section Chair for ALTAFF. She has also chaired ALTAFF’s Public Library Association Conference Committee and is serving as co-chair of ALTAFF’s Legislation, Advocacy & Intellectual Freedom Committee and ALTAFF’s Awards Committee. In addition to being a public library Trustee, she is a librarian/library media specialist at A.C. Steere Elementary School in Shreveport. She has a B.S. and M.S. from Grambling State University, an M.L.S. from Louisiana State University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in library studies/curriculum and instruction.

“I look forward to working with the ALTAFF board as vice president/president-elect,” Griffin said. “Together as a team, we will work to make the association stronger, encouraging Trustees, Friends and Foundation members across the country to join and participate in ALTAFF.”

Three additional ALTAFF board positions were filled during the 2011 election. Dora U. Sims was elected to the position of Trustee at Large. Sims is the vice president of the Board of Trustees of the Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library. She has served on several ALTAFF committees, including the Awards Committee; Annual Conference Program Committee; Newsletter & Website Advisory Committee, and Legislation, Advocacy & Intellectual Freedom Committee. At Birmingham Public Library, she has served as president of the Friends, Trustee/chair of the Friends/Advocacy Committee and as a board member of the Foundation.

Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch was also elected Trustee at Large. She is president of the Board of Trustees of Birmingham Public Library. For 25 years she served Birmingham City Schools, including as a media specialist. She has served on many ALTAFF committees, including the Nominating Committee, the Newsletter & Website Advisory Committee and the Annual Conference Programs Committee.

Marsha A. Bennett was elected Friend at Large. For 19 years, Bennett has been community relations coordinator and liaison to the Friends of the Johnson County (Kan.) Library. During that time, Bennett helped the Friends group grow from a 200-member organization with a budget of $20,000 to a 1,000-member organization with a budget of more than $300,000. The Friends of the Johnson County Library won ALTAFF’s Baker & Taylor Award in 2000 and 2009, and in 1997 and 2009 the group won Outstanding Kansas Friends of the Library Organization.


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