50 Years of Busing

2 min read

By Shannon Ostrowski
Sr. Marketing Manager and planner of all Gale/ALA related fun

Welcome to Detroit!

In 1965, the U.S. military was entrenched in the Vietnam War, the average cost of a new home was $21,500, the price of a first class stamp was $0.05, and the Green Bay Packers won the 33rd, and final, NFL Championship game.

Also in 1965, Gale, known back than as Gale Research Company, started sponsoring the ALA shuttle buses.

welcome to detroitLibrarians flocked to Detroit for The American Library Association Annual Conference in the summer of 1965.   It was a rainy few days in Detroit and Mary Ruffner, wife of Gale founder Fred Ruffner, conceived the idea of setting up free and frequent bus transportation to carry delegates from hotels to the convention center and from one meeting place to another.  As Sol Malkin noted in his report on the meeting in the Antiquarian Bookman (AB), “Gale was thanked daily—if not hourly—by every person attending the ALA conference.”

Having all those librarians on Gale’s home turf was an exciting chance to invite them to visit; so, one of the stops on the bus route was, of course, the Book Building, where Gale’s offices were at the time.  Malkin reported in AB that “Fred greeted everyone and had one of his famous print portfolios for them, a Daumier, ‘Teachers and Brats.’”

The summer of 1965 started a tradition between ALA and Gale that has now been going 50 years strong!  Gale is the proud sponsor of the shuttles for the ALA Midwinter meeting and ALA Annual conference.  No matter the city, the weather, or the conference, Gale is happy to be your ride.

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco for this year’s annual conference!



ShannonAbout the Author

Shannon is the cruise director of Gale events and the captain of the fun squad. She’s high energy and an expert multi-tasker. You’ll find her working out, spoiling her dog, or shopping.




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2 thoughts on “50 Years of Busing”

  1. I have been riding the Gale buses since my first ALA, Midwinter in Chicago in January, 1990. I am very grateful for this service.


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