Library of the Year

All libraries are good, some are great. We’re looking for role-model libraries to vie for the honor of being the 2018 Library Journal/Gale Library of the Year. The $10,000 prize celebrates the library that most profoundly demonstrates: service to the community; creativity and innovation in developing specific community programs or a dramatic increase in library usage; and leadership in creating programs that can be emulated by other libraries.

Along with the cash award, the winner is featured in the June 15, 2018 Library Journal 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:

  • Nominee name, address, and phone number, plus the name of the contact person and the submitter’s contact information if different from the nominee.
  • 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 Library Journal and outside judges. While supporting materials, such as brochures, testimonials, press clippings, etc., may be included and are helpful, they are less important than the written narrative.)
  • 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, 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 you’re the best. Good luck!


As much as possible, please send submissions in an electronic format such as a Word document or a PDF via email to [email protected].

Or mail nominations to:

The LJ Library of the Year Award
Library Journal
123 William St., Suite 802
New York, NY 10038

*Please note, Library Journal moved to a new office in mid-July, 2014. The new address above is correct.

If you have any questions regarding the submission process, please contact Rebecca Miller at [email protected].

Past Winners:


1994 – Brown County Library, Green Bay, WI
1995 – Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, NC
1996 – Broward County Library, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
1997 – Ann Arbor District Library, MI
1998 – Medina County District Library, OH
1999 – The Valley Library, Oregon State University, Corvallis
2000 – Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA
2001 – Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC
2002 – Kalamazoo Public Library, MI
2003 – Las Vegas Clark County Library District, NV
2004 – San Jose Public Library/San Jose State University Library, CA
2005 – Fayetteville Public Library, AR
2006 – Salt Lake City Public Library, UT
2007 – Worthington Libraries, OH
2008 – Laramie County Library System, WY
2009 – Queens Library, NY
2010 – Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH
2011 – King County Library System, WA
2012 – San Diego County Library, CA
2013 – Howard County Library System, MD

2014 – Edmonton Public Library, Alberta, Canada

2015 – Ferguson Municipal Public Library, MO

2016 – Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, KS

2017 – Nashville Public Library, TN