IPSWICH, Mass. — March 27, 2017 — The Fairmont City Library Center, part of Mississippi Valley Library District in Illinois, was named the recipient of the 2017 LibraryAware Community Award given by Library Journal and underwritten by LibraryAware, a product of the NoveList division of EBSCO Information Services. Catawba County Library in North Carolina was awarded second place and Kansas City Public Library in Missouri took third place. The LibraryAware Community Award recognizes 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.
The award recognizes model communities that engage with their libraries to improve the lives of their citizens and create lifelong learners and library users. The Mississippi Valley Library District is a model of this goal as a leader in improving the overall literacy of its community, from children to adults, and supporting lifelong learning for residents. The library demonstrated its commitment to focus on the priorities of the community and to make a difference in the lives of its citizens. Through a deep awareness of community needs, collaborating with partners, and innovative programming, the Mississippi Valley Library District provides the residents of the Fairmont City community with broad access to knowledge, ideas and information to support them in their pursuit of learning throughout their lives.
Katie Heaton, Center Manager, Fairmont City Library Center, says since opening the Fairmont City Library Center, their services and programs have been a direct result of the expressed needs of their patrons. "Establishing a strong partnership with the village was vital to the community and the success of the library. The library does more than improve literacy and encourage lifelong learning. Through events like the annual community Easter parade and egg hunts, our library reaches beyond its brick and mortar building becoming a community center. From English as a second language class to homework help and first generation college bound seminars, our library is more than just books. We listen to the heartbeat of the community and when possible, we respond like an AED providing the needed support."
The Catawba County Library was recognized for embracing the library's role as an essential resource to empower lives and build community by bringing people, information, and ideas together. The library works with community groups to convene and facilitate community conversations and as a result, they are working to develop a new partnership with the housing authority and local police to facilitate race and relationship conversations between the police and the community. Kansas City Public Library was selected for their role in promoting digital literacy, coordinating special events programming and extending outreach efforts to include a fulltime refugee and immigrant services outreach manager, who coordinates citizenship preparation and helps connect immigrant populations with KCPL's other services, resources, and lifelong learning opportunities.
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.
"The people of the Village of Fairmont City are so lucky to have this dynamic, proactive library," says Rebecca T. Miller, Editorial Director of Library Journal and School Library Journal. "Its creative programming, responding to needs large and small, epitomizes the library as access point and facilitator of success. We are very excited to name Mississippi Valley Library District the winner of the 2017 LibraryAware Award."
Submissions were judged by the following library and community experts:
- John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary
- Amy Garmer, Director of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries
- Jim Blanton, Library Director of the Louisville Free Public Library, First Place Recipient of the 2016 LibraryAware Community Award
- Randall H. Reid, Southeast Regional Director of the ICMA
The 2017 winners will also be 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 11,000 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 1,000,000 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.