Empowering Libraries for 63+ Years

It has never been more important for business partners within the library community to promote the impact of libraries and librarians on education and the economy. Today, as a vocal participant in the fight for libraries and a founding member of the Corporate Committee for Library Investment, increasing legislator and public awareness of the value of libraries is core to Gale’s mission.

Gale’s commitment to library advocacy can be traced back to our earliest days under founder Fred Ruffner, who dedicated his work and personal life to advancing the information world and advocating on behalf of libraries. This passion was shared by his wife, Mary Ruffner, who first suggested Gale sponsor the transportation at ALA meetings – a service which continues to this day.

Through the years, Gale’s role as a library advocate has extended far beyond the busses and proudly, we honor the legacy of Fred Ruffner by continuing to make important contributions to and for the benefit of our partner libraries.


Gale, along with 90+ librarians and library supporters, travels to Washington, D.C. for a two-day fly-in of strategic training and meetings with members of Congress to advocate for library funding. Gale met with Michigan Senator Gary Peters and staffers of Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence to discuss the importance of federal funding for libraries and how libraries are infrastructure in the knowledge economy and drive economic development in their communities. Additionally, Gale exec, Paul Gazzolo participated in a panel discussion about the “hidden economy” of libraries and how librarians can discuss it with lawmakers for advocacy purposes.

Gale partners with EveryLibrary to invite patrons to become a local library partner in National Entrepreneurship Week and receive free promotional tools to help connect libraries and academic institutions with the business community.


Gale exec, Paul Gazzolo, prepares to meet with Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence in Washington, D.C. by posing with her sign while advocating for library funding. 




Gale in Washington, D.C. for National Library Legislative Day with the Michigan State delegation.


Gale transforms office into a Winter Wonderland for Golightly Education Center's "Battle of the Bookworms" winners. 39 students from the school visits the Gale office for the company’s annual toy drive, where designated areas of the building will be decorated and feature a Christmas Winter Wonderland theme. Each theme location will host a special experience for the children including toys from Santa, new coats, hats, scarves and gloves, books, lunch, and a special treat – live Reindeer!

Gale invites 35 students from Hillside Elementary School, who read the most books over summer break, to the Farmington Hills, MI office for Halloween fun, complete with cubical trick-or-treating.

Gale and Library Journal crown the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) the 2018 Library of the Year for its committed staff, transformational leadership, amazing array of programs, partnerships, popularity, and community connections.

Gale travels to Washington, D.C. in early May 2018 to attend National Library Legislative Day with the Michigan State delegation. Librarians and library advocates from every corner of the country descended on Capitol Hill to urge our representatives to fully fund libraries.

Gale partners with Booklist to develop an extensive white paper to support the LGBTQ community, in the library and beyond.

Gale employees sell candy grams internally for Valentine’s Day, raising $1,210 for Freedom House Detroit.

Members of Gale’s Campus Association collect donated clothes, hygiene products, and other essentials from Gale employees throughout the month of May, donating over 10 large boxes of necessities to Freedom House Detroit.

Gale sponsors two librarians to attend the National Library Legislative Day event in Washington, D.C., to meet with congressional representatives and senators to advocate for the importance of libraries alongside hundreds of library supporters, leaders, and patrons, as well as provides breakfast and other resources to support the hundreds of attendees.

Gale’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Paul Gazzolo, meets congressional representatives and senators in Washington, D.C. to advocate for important library legislation.

Gale and ALA join together to create the Corporate Committee for Library Investment (CCLI) to advocate for federal library funding.The CCLI works rapidly to engage legislators to reinstate the Institute of Museum and Library Services and preserve funding for the Library Services and Technology Act.

Gale provides $10,000 and other support to help EveryLibrary fund and execute campaigns encouraging Americans to take action on behalf of their libraries. 

Gale sponsors ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Round Table Mid-Winter social—an informal meet-up where all ALA attendees are welcome for food and fun. GBLTRT serves the information needs of the GLBT professional library community, and the GLBT information and access needs of individuals at large. This particular event was hosted at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, GA.

Gale contributes to Book Aid International, a charity which arranges the donation of new books from publishers to partner sub-Saharan Africa libraries in based in slums, hospitals, refugee camps, schools, and prisons. The charity also organizes librarian training programs and funds library refurbishments.

Gale, with the help of ALA RUSA History Section, offers the Learning History Research and Innovation Award. The $2,500 award will be granted to an MLS degreed librarian from an ALA accredited school to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship.

Gale, in collaboration with the Cameron K. Gallagher (CKG) Foundation, supports teen mental health and wellness with debut of Cameron’s Collection—a new set of eBooks providing schools and public libraries with resources to help teens battling depression and anxiety. Gale donates a portion of the proceeds to further support education and awareness of teen mental health and wellness. 

To support the thousands of libraries across the U.S. commemorating the total solar eclipse, Gale offers free, open access to it science resources: Science In Context, Student Resources In Context, and Research In Context.  

Gale’s summer interns organize advocacy event to recognize local children’s participation in the Detroit Public Library’s summer reading and math programs. Over 250 Gale employees built bicycles for 50 students involved in DPL’s program, and personally handed them out to the children—complete with backpacks and Thorndike Press large print books.

Gale hosts an internal, holiday book sale, raising $1,896 for Reading is Fundamental and donates the 14 boxes of leftover books to Toys for Tots.






A video of the crowdsourced "Orlando Strong" mosaic


After a mass shooting at Pulse, a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Gale crowdsources a photo mosaic reading “Orlando Strong” at ALA. The mosaic, composed of images taken during ALA, is donated to the Orange County Public Library and has since been donated to a collection archiving how the community showed support in the wake of tragedy.

Gale donates $25,000 and one year of free access to Miss Humblebee’s Academy  to benefit the Genesee Intermediate School District and the Flint Public Library. Employee fundraising efforts and company matching helped support the education of children affected by the Flint water crisis.

Gale donates Analytics On Demand to EveryLibrary to support “vote library” campaigns. EveryLibrary can now analyze data on library supporters in the U.S. to better understand how to target and engage people in advance of the November elections.

Gale, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) and other publishers, initiates an advocacy campaign highlighting the educational and economic value of libraries, to gain legislator support of library funding.

Hundreds of employees participate in the Gale Charity Challenge, raising $15,000 for the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program in Detroit, which focuses on “books before boxing,” community service, and gives students access to tutoring and educational resources.

Gale partners with EveryLibrary for a media campaign to increase awareness of the role libraries play in the community and economic development. The campaign focused on driving awareness of the library’s role in the discovery of information and as big data enterprises, while simultaneously promoting the social-leveling role that libraries play in society.

Gale, in partnership with ALA, launches the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award to recognize individuals who have made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.



The My Library Story campaign page


Gale initiates a campaign encouraging everyone to share My Library Story through a newly created online community designed to help libraries tell a strong value story around their impact.

Gale, in partnership with ALA, sponsors the Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship, given to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to business librarianship.

Gale and ALA launch the Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services. The award is presented to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons' reference needs.

Gale, in partnership with ALA, sponsors the Student Travel Award. This award promotes careers as business reference librarians, particularly for those who have the potential to be a leader in the profession as demonstrated by activities that may include (but are not limited to) coursework, internships, jobs, special projects, and publications.

Gale offers libraries limited edition bumper magnets with the tag line: “Meet me @ the Library” and free access to dozens of online resources for National Library Week.

Gale receives the inaugural Michigan Library Association (MLA) Heart of Champion Award. The award is presented to Gale to honor the vast advocacy efforts the company undertakes on behalf of all libraries.




Gale partners with the MLA to help libraries better tell the story of the impact they have on their patrons’ lives and successes. Gale develops a detailed guide to help libraries solicit, create, and present these impactful stories of patron success. The stories that emerged convince some legislators that libraries have a huge impact on communities, and budgets should not be cut. The program is so successful that Gale publishes these guides and makes them available for libraries around the country.

In honor of the American Library Association’s theme – Create your own story @ your library, Gale offers free access to six highly praised resources that help library users explore and create stories of all kinds throughout National Library Week.

Gale announces the launch of the Are you a Librarian Superhero contest to recognize the often heroic efforts put forth by librarians around the country, and to encourage other feats of greatness. Gale encourages  everyone – fellow librarians, library patrons, students and school administrators – to nominate a superhero librarian who is making a real difference for their library and community.

Gale supports the ALA during its Rally for Libraries on Capitol Hill on June 29 during the ALA conference with 'Vote For Libraries' t-shirts and bus services.   

Gale provides free access to GREENR during the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, giving libraries access to comprehensive coverage, the latest news, case studies, podcasts, videos, and other primary source information.




Gale supports the Michigan Library Association’s September 10th rally to oppose state budget cuts to library funding by providing bus service to the capitol from two Michigan locations, as well as t-shirts and other resources for more than 250 people.

Continuing a tradition for over 40 years, Gale serves as a sponsor for bus transportation during the ALA conference.

Gale supports learning by providing free usage of assets and databases during select times of the year, including Black History Month, Women’s Health Week, and Earth Day.

Gale launches website to help schools understand the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and information about how they can obtain funding to access valuable resources.

Gale supports libraries through advocacy, access, and celebration at ALA with events and activities such as: Librareo songwriting and releasing news of new tools to help simplify the process for driving users to library resources.

Gale Promo launches under Gale's “Power to the User, Value to the Library” campaign, providing libraries with access to free marketing materials.



        Librareo Grand Prize Winner, Doug Valentine


Gale partners with Library Media Connection magazine to create the TEAMS Award (Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement) to celebrate critical collaboration between libraries and teacher to students.


Gale, in partnership with ALA, launches the Multicultural Award. Standards for this award are any significant accomplishments in library services that are national or international in scope and that include improving, spreading, and promoting multicultural librarianship.

Gale announces a mammoth 20-million-page project that will bring the 18th century's most published books in the English language to the web. Leading to the documentation of previously unknown archives and the preservation of rare source materials for the British National Library, Eighteenth Century Collections Online gives Gale the slogan “we own the 18th century.”




          Winner of the 2002 Multicultural Award: Linda Tse, Montgomery County Public Libraries






Gale begins the Hillside Mentor program, where employees read to students during their lunch breaks to improve communication skills for poor readers. The program still continues today.

Gale and Library Journal launch the Library of the Year Award, giving the first award and $5,000 to Redwood City Public Library. The award doubled to $10,000 in 1994 and continues today.



Workers organize books after fire at Los Angeles Public Library



Gale donates a large reference collection to the Los Angeles Public Library after a fire. The main building sustained massive losses on April 29th at 10:52 AM, burning 20% of their collection and inflicting serious water and smoke damage.


The Council for Florida Libraries initiates its first Key West Literary Tour and Seminar, gathering authors, publishers, editors, and critics to tour local writers’ homes. The program ended with a coffee reception at the local library.

The Council for Florida Libraries receives and administers a statewide public awareness grant of Federal Library Services and Construction Act funds from the State Library of Florida; the grant is more than $50,000 per year.

Fred Ruffner initiates a new ALA award called the Gale Research Company Financial Development Award, which still exists today. The award proves to be a strong stimulus to library fundraising by recognizing an innovative project which successfully resulted in alternative funding.





ALA gives Fred an award for providing 15 years of bus service to conference attendees.

Fred Ruffner invites the Friends groups from 10 major cities in Florida to participate in what would be called the Florida Book & Author Festival, which resulted in 20 programs in 13 cities that year. In 1983, the Festival had 50 authors participating in as many programs throughout the state in 25 cities.







Fred Ruffner attends the Florida Governor’s Conference on Libraries, providing the same bus service as Gale does for ALA. He was appointed to the Governor’s conference planning committee in January, when he decided a citizen’s committee for libraries should be formed.

Fred forms the Council for Florida Libraries, Inc., a non-profit organization of citizens, to raise public awareness. He was elected president in October, a position he held until his death in 2014.

Ruffner represents the Council for Florida Libraries at the White House Conference on Library and Information Services. In 1982, it received the first Friend of Libraries/USA Bowker Award for a statewide friends group.

In response to an unfavorable television report on Detroit, Fred Ruffner held a ‘We LOVE Detroit” rally in the Gale offices and handed out t-shirts to all who joined either the Friends of Belle Isle or the Friends of the Detroit Public Library.





Gale attends its first annual American Library Association conference, which was held in Detroit. Mary Ruffner, wife of Fred, observed that “it’s a pretty good hike from these hotels to Cobo Hall.” And it was Mary who said it would be a good idea to get some transportation for the librarians. The tradition of Gale-sponsored busses at ALA begins.

A high school librarian writes from a small town in Tennessee to report that her library has been broken into and vandals have poured liquid wax on some books and spray-painted others; her complete set of Contemporary Authors—which took four years to buy—is now bright red and she wants to know if the set can be rebound. It cannot, but Gale ships an entire new set of the resource to the school.

The United States Olympic Committee calls Gale to ask for information on how to reach United States associations for marketing the Olympic coin. To help the cause, Gale sends—without charge—the firm’s complete Encyclopedia of Associations mailing list, with best wishes for a successful campaign.

A professor of library media education tells Gale that she would like to order the Encyclopedia of Associations and Contemporary Authors cassette programs, but does not have the funds. Gale sends the tapes to the school gratis.





Fred Ruffner, a young marketing executive in Detroit, realizes there is no current directory listing of trade show associations. After quitting his job, Ruffner publishes the National Directory of Rack Jobbers and begins research for the Encyclopedia of Associations. Gale Research Company was born and under Ruffner’s leadership, Gale’s commitment to advocacy begins.