Library of the Year Nomination Guidelines

Is Your Library the Next Library of the Year?

All libraries are good, some are great. LJ is looking for role-model libraries to vie for the honor of being the 2019 Library Journal/Gale Cengage Learning Library of the Year. The $10,000 prize celebrates the library that most profoundly demonstrates the following:

  1. Service to the community.
  2. Creativity and innovation in developing specific community programs or a dramatic increase in library usage.
  3. Leadership in creating programs that can be emulated by other libraries.

Along with the cash award, the winner is featured in the June 2019 LJ cover story and honored with a gala reception at the American Library Association Annual Conference. Past winners have gained immeasurable prestige within their community and national media attention, often resulting in improved relations with local politicians and increased budgets. It is an honor that resonates for a lifetime.

Submission Requirements:
A library may be nominated by itself or by a community member. Each entry must include:

  1. Nominee name, address, and phone number, plus the name of the contact person and the submitter’s contact information if different from the nominee.
  2. A written explanation of up to several pages, or a list of bulleted narrative points clearly enumerating how your library’s accomplishments fit the award criteria. (Tip: Past entries describing programs and their effects on the community were especially helpful to the LJ and outside judges.)
  3. Statistical data: include population served; total annual budget; per capita budget; circulation; percent of the budget spent on materials; visits; e-use (in-house and remote if available); number of staff; percentage of staff who are professional librarians. If you do not have all of these statistics, then submit at least the first six. The judges do not make selections based on numbers, though they are helpful in giving context to the written submission.

Show the world that your library is the best. Good luck!


If you have any questions regarding the submission process, please contact Rebecca Miller at

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