Submission Guidelines

Deadline: June 16, 2024 (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. Honorable mentions may also be named.

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

  • Engagement with local government to support the service area's defined goals
  • Engagement with the community to develop library services
  • Community recognition
  • Inclusion to meet the needs of underserved populations as well as promoting social cohesion and connection across differences
  • Leadership development to perpetuate the library's organizational strength and dynamism
  • Environmental sustainability and leadership in sustainable thinking
  • Inventiveness as exemplified by one of the library's services which is particularly original, both strategically and tactically
  • Any controversies that have arisen within the library, and how the library has handled them going forward

Application Requirements

  • Nominations will be submitted via an online form.
  • Nominations must include the following:
    • Nominator (nominations submitted by civic officials or other significant individuals external to the library are welcome)
    • Library data: population in service area, physical area served, per capita budget, number of patrons served, number of FTE, hours of volunteer service contributed to the library each year, types of existing funding sources with their relative percentages within total funding, and days and hours open per week.
    • Multiple author submissions are permitted. For submissions with multiple authors, 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 (in the online submission form).
    • Three letters of support from community partners and/or civic leaders, with at least one from an elected official.
    • Optional: Supporting materials such as photographs/images of the library and surrounding community; press coverage, brief videos (not exceed three minutes), etc. These materials are NOT REQUIRED and may or may not be reviewed in the evaluation process.

Read about the 2023 winner, the Kent District Library.

Eligibility: All U.S. Public Libraries are eligible for the prize.

Application Deadline: The deadline for consideration for the 2024 Community Impact Prize is June 16, 2024. (Submissions close at 11:59 p.m. EDT.)

Please submit nominations via the form found here.

Questions? Please contact Lisa Peet, Executive Editor, Library Journal at lpeet@mediasourceinc.com

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