Arizona is celebrating 102 years of age Friday, and to mark the occasion, the Arizona State Library held a ceremony at the state Capitol to announce this year’s Polly Award winner, which goes to a leading contributor to the states rich cultural resources.
This year’s recipient of the award is Tucsonan Margaret F. Maxwell.
“She’s a perfect example of what it means to be an Arizonan,” said Ted Hale, deputy director of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Record. “We’ve always thought there’s just enough Wild West left in Arizona where a person can come here and completely redefine themselves.”
Maxwell moved to Arizona in the early 1970s, and became a public school teacher. Later, the School of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona hired her, and she would eventually become its director.
Hale said she also has a scholarship named after her that is given to students interested in cataloging and organizing information.
“This is a woman who has sent thousands, educated, out into Arizona’s cultural workforce,” Hale said. “And their contributions to the state cannot be enumerated. Both as a writer and a teacher she has helped thousands of people gain an understanding of Arizona history.”
The Arizona State Library also has a new exhibit at the state Capitol called “The State Library’s 150th Exhibition Exhibit,” to commemorate the founding of the Territorial Library in 1864.