IPSWICH, Mass. — June 22, 2012 — Library Journal is looking for libraries that are deeply engaged with their community and where the community is equally engaged with the library. A new award, the LibraryAware Community Award, will recognize those cities and towns and their libraries, or library systems, that have demonstrated their ability to make the community aware of what the library can do for them—and have delivered on that promise. The award will be given by Library Journal and underwritten by LibraryAware, a product of the NoveList division of EBSCO Publishing.
This award will illuminate the value that communities throughout the United States and Canada derive from their libraries and highlight the outcomes of work by libraries—through the development of effective programs, services, partnerships, and communications—that result in better communities and an increased understanding of how libraries contribute to a community's well-being. "The award will demonstrate why libraries deserve the resources necessary to deliver services that result in healthier, more prosperous, and more engaged cities and towns," says LJ editor-in-chief Francine Fialkoff.
NoveList Vice President Duncan Smith says the community is as vital to the success of any library as libraries are to successful communities. "We want to live in communities where people see themselves as part of the future, as part of the solution. We want communities where the spirit of inquiry is alive, where not only the librarians and library staff but the citizens themselves embrace self-directed learning. It is in the public library where a community extends its capacity to imagine."
The LibraryAware Community Award will be given annually to a community of any size and its library during National Library Week. It will be presented to the city or town officials and the library director. The city or town will receive a plaque identifying it as a "LibraryAware" community. The winning library will receive $10,000, with second place receiving $7500, and third place receiving $5000. The first winners will be announced in April 2013 and the winning library will be featured in an article in Library Journal that same month.
The LibraryAware Community Award will go to a library whose community is aware of, and recognizes, the library's role:
- In areas that are documented priorities in the community served by the library, such as digital access, adoption, and/or literacy; economic and workforce development; education; health care; public safety and emergency services; civic engagement.
- As a place of transformation and change
- As an organization whose activities ensure outcomes that are essential to the vitality of the community.
Criteria for the award include any and all components that create a LibraryAware community: strategic planning, marketing, outreach, partnerships, and programs, product, or service development. Additional information on the criteria plus submission requirements is available at: http://features.libraryjournal.com/awards/
Submissions will be judged by a variety of library and community experts. Judges include:
- Ron Carlee, COO, ICMA (International City/County Management Association)
- Deborah Jacobs, Director, Global Libraries Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Jorge Martinez, Director, Information Systems/Project Lead, Knight Library Initiative on Universal Wireless Access, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Additional judges to be announced soon
LibraryAware Product Lead Nancy Dowd says the goal of the LibraryAware product is to help libraries promote what they do to all citizens of their community. "Communities that are LibraryAware know, celebrate, and support the institutions that serve as the anchors for these services. We want to celebrate those communities."
About EBSCO Publishing
EBSCO Publishing is the producer of EBSCOhost, the world's premier for-fee online research service, including full-text databases, subject indexes, point-of-care medical reference, historical digital archives, and e-books. The company provides more than 350 databases and nearly 300,000 e-books. Through a library of tens of thousands of full-text journals and magazines from renowned publishers, EBSCO serves the content needs of all researchers (Academic, Medical, K-12, Public Library, Corporate, Government, etc.). EBSCO is also the provider of EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), which provides each institution with a fast, single search box for its entire collection, offering deeper indexing and more full-text searching of journals and magazines than any other discovery service (www.ebscohost.com/discovery). For more information, visit the EBSCO Publishing Web site at: www.ebscohost.com, or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. EBSCO Publishing is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.
Founded in 1876, Library Journal (LJ) is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. More than 100,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews more than 8,000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and web sites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. Visit www.libraryjournal.com.