Submission Guidelines

Deadline: July 15, 2020 (Submissions close at 11:59 p.m. EDT.)

The Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize, developed in partnership between the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation and Library Journal, was created in 2019 to recognize the public library as a vital community asset. When libraries, civic entities, organizations, and the people they serve become close partners, their communities thrive.

Prize: One winning library will receive $250,000 in unfettered grant monies from the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation. The winning library will also be profiled in the November issue of Library Journal and online.

The winning library will be identified based on the degree of its impact on the community in the following key areas:

  • Engagement – a) How do the local government and other civic institutions partner with the library—and vice versa—to support the service area’s defined civic goals? b) How does the library use deep engagement and co-creation with community individuals and non-governmental organizations to drive library services?
  • Recognition – What does the community recognize are positive outcomes from the library, and how is that recognition given? How is that reflected in support?
  • Inclusion – How does the library go the extra mile to meet the needs of marginalized or underserved populations among its community and to promote social cohesion and connection across differences?
  • Leadership development – How does the library ensure its own organizational strength and dynamism?
  • Environmental sustainability – How does the library lead on sustainable thinking for the library itself and the community at large to ensure future resilience?  
  • Inventiveness – How are the library services original, both strategically and tactically?

Application Requirements

  • Nominations will be submitted via an online form.
  • Nominations should include the following:
    • Nominee data: Library name, primary contact and contact mailing address, phone number, email.
    • Library data: population in service area, physical area served, per capita budget, number of patrons served, number of FTE, number of volunteers, days and hours open per week, types of existing funding sources with their relative percentages within total funding.
    • Multiple-author submissions are permitted. For submissions with multiple authors, please include the names and affiliations of all of the group members.
    • An overview summary of no more than 1,000 words pertaining to the goals and criteria listed above.
    • Detailed answers to focused answers on each of the criteria driven questions above (via fields in the online submission form).
    • Three letters of support from community partners and/or civic leaders, with at least one from a civic official.
    • Optional: Supporting materials such as photographs/images of the library and surrounding community; press coverage, brief videos (not exceed three minutes), etc.

Read about the 2019 winner, Sacramento Public Library.

Eligibility: All U.S. Public Libraries are eligible for the prize, whether in a single building in a small town or a multi-branch system serving an entire region. Previous winners are asked to take a ten year hiatus from submitting again for consideration.

Application Deadline: The deadline for consideration for the 2020 Community Impact Prize is July 15, 2020. (Submissions close at 11:59 p.m. EDT.)

Please submit nominations via the form found here.

Questions? Please contact Meredith Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal at mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com

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