The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is now accepting nominations for the new ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award, sponsored by the ALA Cultural Communities Fund. The award recognizes a library that demonstrates excellence in library programming by creating a cultural/thematic program type or program series presented during the preceding year (September 1, 2011–August 31, 2012) that engages the community in planning, sponsorship, and/or active participation; addresses an identified community need; and has a measurable impact. All types of libraries are eligible—school, public, academic, and special—but the nominated program or series must have been for a public audience. The award consists of $5,000 and a citation of achievement that will be presented during the ALA Awards Presentation at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference.
Maybe you’re unsure if your library’s programming fits the bill? Since August 1, 2011, the ALA Public Programs Office has helped bring a variety of programs to libraries across the country, including “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War”; “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak”; “Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience”; “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War”; and “Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion.” All of these programs gathered community members within the library and opened dialogue on a diverse array of culturally relevant events and topics. If your public, school, academic, or special library hosted any of these programs in the last year, or another cultural/thematic program designed to engage and impact the community, it is likely eligible for the ALA Excellence in Library Programming award.
When applying, remember that the award-winning library should:
- have a well-defined and documented need for the program;
- have a clear statement of organization goals and objective, and state the link between these objectives and the community impact;
- identify the project audience, and direct the programming at this audience;
- have a clear action plan and calendar;
- have a reasonable and adequate budget; and
- evaluate the programming appropriately.
Applications are due December 1, 2012. Learn more about and apply for the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award.