For immediate release | May 10, 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), awarded 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 teacher, school library media specialist and principal quality 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.

“Pima County Public Library is pleased to learn that Congressman Raúl Grijalva is being recognized for his support of libraries,” said Nancy Ledeboer, director of the Pima County (Ariz.) Public Library. “Here in Tucson, Congressman Grijalva has a long history of supporting libraries. During his tenure on the school board he supported school libraries, during his tenure on the Board of Supervisors he voted to support the public library and now in Washington he continues to vote in support education, libraries, workforce development and other services that are critical to the fabric of American life. With several librarians in his family, (his wife, his daughter and his son-in-law) he knows firsthand the difference that librarians make in the lives of the people who use the library as well as the power that libraries have in creating community.”

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