News & Events - Press Releases

8. Octavia Fellin Public Library

Press Contact: Aliza Bran
(202) 414-0798;

Web Site:

Left to right: Maria Elena Reyes, Mary Ellen Pellington, Mrs. Obama.

Left to right: Maria Elena Reyes, Mary Ellen Pellington, Mrs. Obama. Click image for a larger view.

The Octavia Fellin Public Library serves not only the City of Gallup and McKinley County, but also the Navajo Nation, neighboring counties, and residents of Arizona. The Library is committed to providing quality services and programs that are inclusive of its community’s diverse cultures and ethnicities, reaching out well beyond its four walls. Often referred to as the heart of the community, the library significantly contributes to the region’s quality of life. Serving as the crossroad of the community, it encourages the sharing of ideas and exploration of interests and assures that resources are reflective of community needs. Maria Elena Reyes, who will be attending the award ceremony, grew up on the Navajo Nation and remembers her mother taking the long drive to Gallup, so that she could attend library programs and use its resources. The library broadened her world and she now brings her children to the library.

Library Director Mary Ellen Pellington said,“We are all very humbled to be a recipient of the 2014 National Medal. In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the library’s name sake, Octavia Fellin, who served as Director from 1947 to 1990. Ms. Fellin was a true library champion in Gallup and will always be remembered for her contribution and commitment to this institution.” Maria Elena Reyes will travel to Washington and share the impact the Octavia Fellin Public Library has had on her life during the May 8 celebration. Watch video of Maria's story on YouTube. Read transcript (PDF, 51KB)

Praise for Octavia Fellin Public Library:

"The Octavia Fellin Public Library is attuned to the needs of the Gallup community, and works hard to provide services to meet those needs and expand opportunities for community members. Through their free computer lessons and software training program, they're helping to bridge the digital divide. Their enhanced children's department and active community involvement inspire children and adults alike to learn and broaden their thinking and skill sets. I am proud to see the Octavia Fellin Public Library represent New Mexico among the quality institutions receiving this award, and I am thankful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for recognizing the immense benefit that it and libraries across our country provide to our communities." U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)

“Congratulations to everyone at Octavia Fellin Public Library who has played a role in making it an award-winning facility that serves so many in the Gallup community,” Congressman Ben Ray Luján said.  “This prestigious recognition is well deserved, as the library has shown a deep commitment to promoting literacy as well as the rich cultures and traditions of the region.” – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujàn


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