For immediate release | May 1, 2013

United for Libraries to present 2013 Public Service Award to Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.)

PHILADELPHIA — Rod Wagner, director of the Nebraska Library Commission, will present United for Libraries’ 2013 Public Service Award to Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) during National Library Legislative Day activities in Washington, D.C., on May 7.

Rep. Fortenberry was the first Congressman willing to speak up about the importance of the issue of compelling libraries to test for lead in all children’s books. He recognized that a legislative fix that reasonably dealt with the issue was needed.

During the 111th Congress (2009-2010), he introduced H.R.1692 “to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to exempt ordinary books from the lead limit in such Act.” Later, he introduced H.R.4767 to amend CPSIA “to exempt ordinary books and paper-based printed material from the lead limit in such Act.” He reintroduced that legislation as H.R.272 in the 112th Congress (2011-2012).

Rep Fortenberry was also honored for his openness to constituents, often meeting with his local librarians when they attend National Library Legislative Day each year.

Rep. Fortenberry was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2004. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he placed particular focus on human rights concerns, Middle Eastern affairs and nuclear weapons non-proliferation. Prior to serving in Congress, Representative Fortenberry worked as a publishing industry executive in Lincoln, where he also served on the Lincoln City Council.

The Public Service Award is given annually by United for Libraries to a legislator who has been especially supportive of libraries. The first award was presented in 1989 to Congressman Major Owens (D-N.Y.), the only librarian serving in Congress. Other recent awardees include Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Verne Ehlers (R-Mich.) For more information about the award, visit

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries 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 or to join United for Libraries, contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or



Jillian Kalonick

Marketing / Public Relations

United for Libraries (United)

800-545-2433 ext.2160