The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has raised the award levels for Library Journal’s annual Best Small Library in America Award. Now in its ninth year, the award was founded to celebrate and raise awareness of the work of libraries that demonstrate outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less.
For the 2013 award, the winning library will receive a $20,000 award, a feature story in the February 1, 2013 edition of LJ, membership and conference costs for two library representatives to attend the Public Library Association Biennial Conference in 2014 in Indianapolis, IN, and a gala reception at the conference. Two finalist libraries will be awarded a $10,000 award as well as membership and conference costs for two library representatives to attend the PLA conference and the gala reception in 2014, and they will be given special mention in Library Journal. “These increased award amounts,” says Rebecca Miller, Editor-in-Chief of School Library Journal, “will help better support these libraries in the face of the ongoing economic pressures, while also enabling them to innovate on significant projects. LJ thanks the Gates Foundation for their ongoing creativity and commitment to this award.”
Nominees will be judged by members of the LJ editorial board, librarians from throughout the U.S., and representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation on a variety of factors, including:
- Creativity in developing services and programs that can be replicated by other libraries, including outreach to special populations
- Innovation in introducing and supporting public access to computers and the Internet
- Success in educating patrons in computer use, and measuring the results of technology usage
- Use of technology to expand the reach of library services
- Demonstrated community support
- Sustained cooperation with other libraries
- Partnerships with other agencies and businesses
- Increase in library use, particularly by new users
- Evidence of library’s role as community center
With these factors in mind, please let us know how your library has increased its profile in the community, reached out to new users and remote users, and used technology to support and grow patron access to materials and information during the past two years.
The postmark deadline for submissions is November 9, 2012. Check here for a full set of guidelines, or for additional guidance, contact LJ Executive Editor Mike Kelley at mkelley(at)mediasourceinc.com.