The transformation of this smallest library in West Virginia convinced the judges that it is the Best Small Library in America 2013, cosponsored by Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Though it has only a service population of 498, the activity, energy, growth, and community engagement of this library helps it rank with the state’s best and brightest. The library is directed by the dynamic Mary Beth Stenger, whose 20-hour workweek probably means she gives three times that much effort to SAPL, Lost Creek, and the surrounding area.
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.