Caleb Benjamin Tillinghast was the first chairman of the Commission, and served as the Massachusetts State Librarian from 1879 to 1909. He was a repository of information and guidance within the State House. The Caleb Benjamin Tillinghast Award honors a federal or state legislator whose work is guided by a deep understanding of the essential role public libraries play in the lives of all residents and in a democratic society.
Throughout his time in Congress, Senator Ed Markey has worked hard to protect telecommunications and ensure fair and equal access for all Americans. In 1996, he authored the E-Rate Program to help provide discounts to libraries and schools for affordable Internet access and connectivity. This program has expanded Internet access all over the country and connected those who cannot afford to connect on their own. In 2012, President Obama expanded the program to reach even more libraries and schools. Since its implementation, $42 billion has been used to connect libraries and schools to the Internet and grant access to our most vulnerable populations.
Senator Markey works hard today in the Senate to continue protecting access to technology for all Americans. For his efforts, we are proud to present Senator Ed Markey with the 2015 Caleb Benjamin Tillinghast Award.
Senator Markey sent a video acceptance speech from Washington, D.C.