For immediate release | May 24, 2011

New Jersey State Library wins ALA President’s Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF

PHILADELPHIA – The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announces, in cooperation with ALA President Roberta Stevens and President-elect Molly Raphael that the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) is the recipient of the 2011 ALA Presidential Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF.

The goal of the New Jersey State Library’s Snapshot Day campaign was to find a way to show New Jersey lawmakers the value of library services to their constituents. New Jersey residents were the complete focus of the campaign in pictures, videos and comments they made about the importance of libraries to their lives. In 2009, when the Snapshot Day campaign was initially developed, 288 participating libraries of all types took more than 900 photos of visitors using library services. The statistics gathered from two Snapshot Days, as well as comments, photos, and a summary sheet, were used as both the NJSL and the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) went on legislative visits. Simultaneously, the NJSL and the NJLA encouraged library customers and library staff to send emails, postcards and letters, as well as to make photo calls to their elected officials. Following the Snapshot Days, $3.6 million was added back into the state library’s budget.

New Jersey State Library’s idea for a “snapshot day” has been adopted by ALA as an initiative, and more than 30 states have used Snapshot Day to provide visible evidence of the way libraries change lives every day. For more information about Snapshot Day, visit

The ALA President’s Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF, includes $1,000 to the winning state campaign for the further development of citizens across the state as advocates. The New Jersey State Library will be recognized at the Opening General Session of the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

The deadline for applications for the 2012 award will be March 15, 2012. The winning statewide effort will be determined based on use of Capwiz (or a similar email campaign) as a way for all library supporters to contact state legislators en masse, the level of success achieved (whether reducing the size of a cut, or increasing funds for state libraries), and the level of engagement by citizen supporters of libraries. For more information on taking action for libraries in your state using Capwiz, visit

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