Robbie LaFleur, Director of the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, has been named recipient of the 2008 Peter S. Popovich Award. The Popovich Award is given each year by the Minnesota Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to “the person or organization that exemplifies the fight for First Amendment Rights.” SPJ will present the award at the 2008 Page One Awards Banquet on Thursday, June 12, at the Town & Country Club in St. Paul.
The award was named for the late Peter S. Popovich, a champion of open government during his years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, as the chief judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and as the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
In nominating LaFleur the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information noted that, “for nearly a decade Robbie has been Director of the Legislative Reference Library, the special library that serves members and staff of the Minnesota State Legislature. Though her primary clientele is the Legislature, Robbie has distinguished herself by always bearing in mind and addressing the needs of the public, including investigative journalists who are steady customers at the LRL.”
Nominators noted the immense technological changes that have occurred during LaFleur’s tenure. To address those changes “Robbie has participated in countless significant task forces and committees dealing with state information policy…Thus, the impact of her leadership extends far beyond the LRL and the Legislature.”
LaFleur and staff of the LRL have been honored with numerous awards and citations for excellence in the provision of access to government information.