IPSWICH, Mass. — March 28, 2016 — Three communities are recipients of the 2016 LibraryAware Community Award given by Library Journal and underwritten by LibraryAware, a product of the NoveList division of EBSCO Information Services. The Louisville Free Public Library in Kentucky was the first place recipient; the Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library and the Queens Public Library entered jointly and took second place; third place went to Cranston Public Library in Rhode Island.
The award recognizes model communities that engage with their libraries to improve the lives of their citizens and create life-long learners and library users. The Louisville Free Public Library is a model of this goal as a leader in improving the overall literacy of its community, from children to adults, and supporting life-long learning for residents. Through a deep awareness of community needs, collaborating with partners, and innovative programming, the Louisville Free Public Library provides the residents of the Louisville community with broad access to knowledge, ideas and information to support them in their pursuit of learning throughout their lives.
"The Louisville Free Public Library works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify and address areas of need. Our commitment to improve literacy and support lifelong learning has been formalized using the Public Libraries United with Schools brand. In addition, offering fun, recreational programming and building community with interactive programs like the How-to Festival and Living Library expands our appeal to the public. Together we are making measureable differences in our community and working to ensure the success of all our residents," says Director of Education and Outreach Julie Scoskie.
The three joint winners, the Queens Library, New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library have been selected in recognition for their work in partnership with the NYC Mayor's Office for Immigrant Affairs and for their role in the implementation of IDNYC, a municipal identification card. This program provides a way for undocumented immigrants, teens and others without access to official photo ID to get alternative identification. It serves as a model for the place of the library in a community, to provide everyone in that community with easy access to information and the opportunity to learn. As of January 2016, more than 250,000 people have been enrolled in IDNYC through these three outstanding public library systems.
The Cranston Public Library was recognized for its deep understanding of the evolving needs of its community and reflecting those needs in their programs and policies. Seeing an increase in the number of residents speaking languages other than English at home, the CPL in partnership with the Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative began offering ESL classes in a variety of levels and continues to seek out partnerships that will provide for future residents. Cranston Public Library not only adapted to the meet the needs of the community at present, but also anticipates the needs of the future.
LibraryAware Product Manager Nancy Dowd says that the efforts shown by these libraries have led to positive, powerful changes felt throughout the community. "These winners are a shining example of how impactful the relationship between a library and its community truly is. Everyone in the community feels the benefits."
The LibraryAware Community Award is given annually to a community of any size and its library.
Criteria for award include any and all components that create a LibraryAware community: strategic planning, marketing, outreach, partnerships, and programs, product or service development. The award emphasizes the library's engagement with the community its ability to make its community "aware" of what the library can do for it — and has delivered on that promise. Libraries were also required to include one letter of recommendation from a representative from local government such as a city manager.
Submissions were judged by the following library and community experts:
- John Chrastka from EveryLibrary
- Amy Garmer from the Aspen Institute
- Gina Millsap, CEO of the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library, a 2015 LibraryAware Community Award Honoree
- Randall Reid of the ICMA
- Lilly Weinberg of the Knight Foundation
The 2016 winners are also featured in an article in Library Journal. The LibraryAware Community Award will be given annually to a community of any size and its library.
NoveList is dedicated to transforming lives through reading. By helping libraries help readers, NoveList empowers libraries to engage and inspire their communities. NoveList has been helping readers find their next favorite book for more than 20 years, and continues to develop innovative solutions for connecting readers, books, and libraries. As a division of EBSCO Information Services, NoveList specializes in readers' advisory tools for libraries that include book discovery, catalog enrichment, and outreach. Find out more at www.ebscohost.com/novelist.
About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading discovery service provider for libraries worldwide with more than 10,000 discovery customers in over 100 countries. EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) provides each institution with a comprehensive, single search box for its entire collection, offering unparalleled relevance ranking quality and extensive customization. EBSCO is also the preeminent provider of online research content for libraries, including hundreds of research databases, historical archives, point-of-care medical reference, and corporate learning tools serving millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions. EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals & books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 800,000 e-books. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.