ALA Seeks Nominations for 2009 James Madison Award and Eileen Cooke State & Local Madison Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association (ALA) is seeking nominations for two awards to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know.

The James Madison Award, named in honor of President James Madison, was established in 1986 and is presented annually on the anniversary of his birth. That award is designed to celebrate an individual or group who has brought awareness to these issues at the national level.

The Eileen Cooke State & Local Madison Award, named for Eileen Cooke, former director of the ALA’s Washington Office, honors an extraordinary leader who has built local grassroots awareness of the importance of access to information. Cooke herself was a tireless advocate for the public’s right to know and a mentor to many librarians and trustees.

Both awards are presented during Freedom of Information (FOI) Day, an annual event on or near March 16, the birthday of James Madison, who is widely regarded as the Father of the Constitution and as the foremost advocate for openness in government. Nominations should be submitted to the American Library Association’s Washington Office no later than February 2, 2009.

Submissions should include a statement  (maximum one page) about nominee’s contribution to public access to government information and why it merits the award, and one seconding letter. Please include a brief biography and contact information for the nominee.

Send e-mail nominations to Jessica McGilvray, Assistant Director for the ALA Office of Government Relations, at jmcgilvray@alawash.org.

Submissions can also be mailed to: James Madison Award / Eileen Cooke Award, American Library Association Washington Office, 1615 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20009-2520

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