Following nominations from library users, five winning libraries will be announced at an Awards ceremony in May 2015 and will be awarded $20,000 each—the largest cash prize awarded directly to branch libraries in the country.
This year’s Awards officially launched this morning on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, the media partner of the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. Nominations can be submitted at www.nyclibraryawards.org, through each library system’s website, or in person at any neighborhood library and will be accepted through December 12th. The winning branches will be selected by a panel of judges including acclaimed authors Jonathan Safran Foer and Jacqueline Woodson, and Dutton Children’s Books publisher Julie Strauss-Gabel.
The 2013 competition generated more than 4,300 nominations, a remarkable response that underscores the passion city residents feel for their libraries. In the words of New Yorkers:
•Oswald, a student: “The library is the only place I can go after school that is safe.”
•Yunona, an immigrant in Brooklyn: “I started to learn English and basic computer skills here.”
•Shonda, a resident in the Bronx: “Without this place I would have had nowhere to write my resume and would likely still be living on the street.”
Last year’s Award winners were Corona Library (Queens), Macon Library (Brooklyn), New Dorp Library (Staten Island), Seward Park Library (Manhattan), and Sheepshead Bay Library (Brooklyn). Last year’s winners are not eligible for this year’s Awards.
“Every day New Yorkers enter their neighborhood libraries to seek the riches of the information age, available to everyone and all for free.” said Julie Sandorf, President of the Charles H. Revson Foundation. “These Awards celebrate the love New Yorkers have for their libraries.”
“Neighborhood libraries in New York City are the center of many of our communities,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. “They welcome all New Yorkers and provide vital opportunities to learn, educate, reflect – and better ourselves.”