Nominate your favorite librarian!

Information on nine awards/grants for public service librarians:

Through the generosity of sponsors, the Public Library Association (PLA) is offering nine awards/grants designed to highlight the best in public library service and to honor those bringing innovation, creativity and dedication to public libraries. Many of the awards include an honorarium; please visit the website for details on each award and nominate your colleague or library through Dec. 2, 2013.

The awards include:

  • Allie Beth Martin Award, honoring a public librarian who has demonstrated extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books or other library materials and has the distinguished ability to share that knowledge. Sponsored by Baker & Taylor;
  • Baker & Taylor Entertainment Audio Music/Video Product Award, promoting the development of a circulating audio music/video collection in a public library;
  • Charlie Robinson Award, honoring a public library director who, over a period of seven years, has been a risk taker, an innovator and/or a change agent in a public library. Sponsored by Baker & Taylor;
  • DEMCO New Leaders Travel Grant, enhancing the professional development of new public librarians by making possible their attendance at major professional development activities;
  • EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Library Service Award, honoring a public library serving a population of 10,000 or less that demonstrates excellence of service to its community;
  • Gordon M. Conable Award, honoring a public library staff member, library trustee or public library that has demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights. Sponsored by Library Systems & Services LLC;
  • Polaris Innovation in Technology John Iliff Award, honoring a library worker, librarian or library that has used technology as a tool to improve services;
  • Romance Writers of America Library Grant, providing a public library the opportunity to build or expand its romance fiction collection and/or host romance fiction programming;
  • Upstart Innovation Award, recognizing a public library’s innovative and creative service program to the community.

The PLA Award Nomination Form is open from now until Dec. 2, 2013. An award jury appointed by the PLA President will review each nomination. Winners will be announced in February 2014, and awards will be presented at 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. For more information, contact the PLA office, (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA or by email

You have plenty of time to nominate your favorite librarian.


Library Top Innovators 2013

This is from last month, but I missed it… Urban Libraries Council Announces 2013 Top Innovators. The short version:

  • Learning: Howard County Library System (MD) HiTech
  • Civic and Community Engagement: Los Angeles Public Library (CA)
  • Collections: Nashville Public Library (TN)
  • Customer Experience: Calgary Public Library (AB)
  • Economic and Workforce Development: Saint Paul Public Library (MN) NorthStar Digital Literacy Project
  • Health, Wellness and Safety: Pima County Public Library (AZ) Library Nurses Program
  • Operations: New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries (NY) BookOps
  • Organizational Change and Strategic Management: San Francisco Public Library (CA) Community Impact through Renewed Engagement
  • Positioning the Library: Free Library of Philadelphia (PA) Flying High
  • Sustainability: Sacramento Public Library (CA)

Special Honors:

  • Johnson County Library (KS) A Conversation about Sandy Hook
  • Queens Library (NY) Queens Library Responds to Hurricane Sandy
  • Poudre River Public Library District (CO) Libraries as First Responders

Congratulations to all!

* * *



Montana State Library Releases Videos Highlighting Impact of Libraries on Montanans

Earlier this year Montana State Library released a series of three videos that highlight the impact libraries have on the lives of Montanans.  The videos feature Montana library users and Montana librarians from around the state.

The videos were filmed at:

  • the Bitterroot Public Library in Hamilton;
  • the Hearst Free Library in Anaconda;
  • the Lewis & Clark Library in Helena;
  • the North Lake County Public Library in Polson;
  • the Sidney-Richland County Library in Sidney; and
  • the Web on Wheels (W.O.W.) Bus, which is a branch of the Missoula Public Library.

The videos feature stories from patrons, community members, and library partners that use their local library to learn how to run their home-based business using technology; assist job-seekers as they look for the right employment using library resources; complement their home-school curriculum with library resources and computers; learn how to use the latest technology resources; and manage their business in the oil fields of northeastern Montana.

The videos can be found on the MTLibraryNext You Tube channel, or at the following hyperlinks:

A 2011 survey of Montanans demonstrated that nearly 40% of Montana library patrons using their library’s public access computers were looking for a job.  Other uses of the public access computers as reported by Montana library patrons included email (79.5%); news and entertainment (41.9%); paying bills and managing finances (26.7%); taking an online course (15.7%); completing homework (15.7%); and signing up for public benefits (9%).

The videos were completed as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP), a federally funded (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) project administered by the Montana State Library. Matching support for BTOP is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Montana State Library, and some participating public libraries.  Funding for the videos was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Through its statewide programs, the Montana State Library empowers Montanans; enhances learning in families and communities; builds 21st Century skills; and provides opportunities for civic participation. For more information, visit


PR Xchange deadline: April 1st

Nancy Dowd reminds us that it’s time to submit your best work for this year’s PR Xchange Best of Show competition. All work must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2013. 


First Ever LibraryAware Community Award, due February 1

From Ebsco:

The deadline is approaching for libraries interested in submitting entries for the first-ever LibraryAware Community Award. Submissions must be postmarked by February 1st. 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—and have delivered on that promise. The award is given by Library Journal and underwritten by LibraryAware™, a product of the NoveList division of EBSCO Publishing. 

The LibraryAware Community Award highlights the value that communities throughout the United States and Canada derive from their libraries and focuses on 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.

More info at


Apply for your Día mini-grant, due by February 1

From American Libraries:

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is now accepting applications for mini-grants intended to prepare libraries to incorporate Día into their existing programs, throughout the year. Libraries will use these mini-grants to initiate a Día Family Book Club Program. These mini-grants are part of ALSC’s Everyone Reads @ your library grant, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Intended as an expansion of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día), the mini-grants will be awarded to libraries that demonstrate a need to better address the diverse backgrounds within their communities. Up to 12 mini-grants will be awarded at $5,000 each. In addition to these mini-grants, funding from this grant will also allow ALSC to create a Día Family Book Club Toolkit that will be accessible to all. For more information, and the application form, go to The deadline to accept mini-grant applications is Feb. 1, 2013.

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) is celebrated every year on April 30th. You can find more about this programming date at


The LibraryAware Community Award

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Library Journal is taking submissions for their LibraryAware award. Basically, they are looking for libraries that are making a difference in the community. 

Additional information on the criteria plus submission requirements is available at:


ALA awards deadline extended

From American Libraries:

The deadline has been extended to Feb. 1 for a number of American Library Association (ALA) awards and grants, including the ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award, Beta Phi Mu Award, Melvil Dewey Award, Equality Award,  Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award, Ken Haycock Award For Promoting Librarianship and the Scholastic Library Publishing Award.  Although the online application has a Dec. 1 deadline date the applications will be accepted through Feb. 1.

ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award honors a library, library consortium, group of librarians or support organization for innovative planning, practical application or development relating to patron training programs about information technology in a library setting. The award includes $1,500 and a 24k gold-framed citation, donated by Information Today, Inc. Application information

Beta Phi Mu is presented to a faculty member of a library school or an individual for distinguished service to education in librarianship. The award includes $1,000 and a 24k-gold-framed citation donated by the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honorary Society.  Application information

Melvil Dewey Medal honors an individual or group for a recent creative professional achievement in library management, training, cataloging and classification or the tools and techniques of librarianship. The award includes $2,000, Dewey Medal and a 24k gold-framed citation, donated OCLC/Forest Press, Inc. Application information

Equality Award honors an individual or group for an outstanding contribution that promotes equality in the library profession.  The award includes $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation donated by Scarecrow Press, Inc., a member of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.  Application information

Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award recognizes and honors a librarian for investing time and talent to make a positive change in the profession of librarianship.  The award includes $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation, donated by the Elizabeth Futas Memorial Fund. Application information

Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship honors an individual for contributing significantly to the public recognition and appreciation of librarianship through professional performance, teaching and/or writing.  The award includes $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation, donated by Ken Haycock, PhD. Application information

Scholastic Library Publishing Award is annual award consisting of $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation presented to a librarian whose “unusual contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by children and young people” exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession.  Application information

General information about these and other ALA awards is available on the ALA website.


Apply to Become a 2012 Emerging Leader — Deadline is today

It’s not too late to apply to become one of 75 ALA 2012 Emerging Leaders.

This program is designed to enable library workers to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership.  Participants are given the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, network with peers, and gain an understanding of the ALA structure and wide range of activities.

Apply today! (Since the deadline is today.)


Apply for the ALA Emerging Leaders Program

Applications for the ALA Emerging Leaders Program are due by August 1, 2011.

ALA Emerging Leaders Program

The American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders (EL) program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as other professional library-related organizations.

The  EL program kicks off with a daylong session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Afterward, it grows and develops in an online learning and networking environment for six months.  The program culminates with a poster session presentation to display the results of the project planning work of each group at the ALA Annual Conference.

Participants commit to participating in all aspects of the program.  Participants may be offered an opportunity to serve on  an ALA, division, chapter, or round table committee, taskforce or workgroup as well as other library-related groups upon completion of program.  However, appointments are not guaranteed.

The program is limited to no more than 75 participants.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee seeks diversity based on geography, gender, ethnicity and type of library. Particular attention is given to candidates’ personal statements as well as those of their references. No more than one person from any institution can be selected for participation in the program.  Preference will be given to those who do not have experience working on ALA committees, task forces, etc.and to those who meet the following criteria:

  1. Be under 35 years of age or be a new library professional of any age with fewer than 5 years of experience working at a professional or paraprofessional level in a library and
  2. Be able to attend both ALA conferences and work virtually in between the two conferences and
  3. Be prepared to commit to serve on an ALA, Division, Chapter, or Round Table committee, taskforce or workgroup, or your state or local library organization upon completion of program, and
  4. Be an ALA member, and if sponsored by an organization, a member of that organization.

Applying to the Program

Applications for the 2012 class of Emerging Leaders are now being accepted.   Applications must be submitted online.  Deadline for submission of the application and all references is August 1, 2011.  Once an application has been submitted , people listed as references in the application will receive automated notices with appropriate links to complete statements of reference.  All reference letters, letters of support, etc. should be submitted online by the same deadline, August 1, 2012.  Note: The program is limited to no more than 75 participants.

The application can be accessed at:


Roles and Responsibilities

ALA Emerging Leaders Roles and Responsibilities

Emerging Leader Sponsor

Provides financial support of $1,000 ($500 per conference) for each Emerging Leader chosen as your individual participant. Sponsors can be any unit of ALA, including Divisions, Round Tables, Chapters, Affiliates, or any Individual. Complete sponsor form here (pdf).

Project Host

Submits a project to be worked on by an EL project Team. The unit will come up with a project topic and assign a staff liaison and member mentor. In order for any entity to host a project, the group must have an ALA staff liaison and an ALA member mentor. Submit project proposal here (pdf).

Member Mentor

Serves as a source of support. Acts as a resource person for the project team. Monitors the teams progress. Maintains regular communication with the designated liaison from the team.

Project Team (EL Participants)

Ensures that the project meets the stated objectives. Decides how to communicate and carry out the work. Completes the project on time.

Team Member (EL Participants)

Makes a firm commitment to contribute his or her personal best. Ensures that his or her work satisfies the needs of the project and is completed on time.

ALA Staff Liaison

Ensures that the project has clear direction and support. Makes sure the project team understands the project requirements. Serves as the primary resource on content and ALA policy questions. Provides resources

Program Facilitators

Maureen Sullivan, Organizational Development Consultant

Peter Bromberg, Assistant Director, South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative

Program Coordinator

Beatrice Calvin

If you have questions, or need more information, contact Beatrice Calvin at 800/545-2433 ext. 4280.


Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 class of Emerging Leader participants.  The application can be accessed at:

%d bloggers like this: