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Pennsylvania Library Association Awards

Members Only: Award Nominations

Each year, the Pennsylvania Library Association recognizes members from our state who have contributed significantly to the library profession and the betterment of libraries. The Awards Committee chooses award recipients based on the nominations from the membership and the award criteria. The awards are presented at the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference or other appropriate venue. 

Awards Presented by the Association

  • Distinguished Service Award: This is the highest award the Association gives. It may be awarded annually to one person in recognition of exceptional meritorious statewide service to libraries of the Commonwealth and service to the Pennsylvania Library Association. Past Winners
  • Certificates of Merit: These awards may be given to individuals making outstanding contributions to libraries and the Pennsylvania Library Association during the past five years. Past Winners
  • Elected Official Award: This award may be given annually to an elected official or officials for exemplary support of library service in Pennsylvania. Past Winners
  • New Librarian Honors Award: This award honors a librarian who has been in the profession for fewer than six years. It recognizes the originality and inventive ability of a new librarian who devises new and improved methods in library service on a statewide or local level and who demonstrates promise for continued growth in librarianship. Past Winners
  • Trustee of the Year Award: This award is presented to a public library trustee in recognition of outstanding leadership and service to library development at the local, system, district, and/or state level. Past Winners
  • Library of the Year Award: This award is presented to an individual library that has exhibited excellence in the following areas over the previous year:
    1. Service to public or academic community
    2. Advancing staff development
    3. Innovation in a special project, partnership, or challenge overcome
    4. Leadership in and support of Association activities such as the Pennsylvania Library Association Academy of Leadership Studies (PALS) and the PA Forward initiative.    Organizational membership or the library's support for individual members of the Association will be considered. 

Previous winners must wait 3-5 years before reapplying. Past Winners

  • (no longer awarded) Library Support Staff Recognition Award: The Library Support Staff Recognition Award is presented to a library, NOT individual staff members for advancing library support staff career development in Pennsylvania, and fostering participation in career development activities, particularly those of the Pennsylvania Library Association. The award is a framed certificate. PAST WINNERS

  • Pennsylvania Library Association President's Award: This special award recognizes unique achievements by an individual, group or organization in support of libraries and library services in the state of Pennsylvania. It is not intended to be an annual award or to replace an existing award.  It may be given at the recommendation of the President and the Awards Committee with the approval of the Board of Directors. Past Winners

General nomination criteria: Nominators for all awards must be individual members of the Pennsylvania Library Association.  With the exception of the Trustee of the Year, Elected Official, and Library of the Year Awards, nominees must also be individual members of the Association.  Employees of the Association are not eligible for awards.  Candidates will be evaluated only on materials submitted by the nominator(s).  Nomination responses should range from 500-1000 words. 

2019 Winners

On behalf of the Awards Committee, we are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 awards. Join us in congratulating this group of winners on their achievements in and for the library community!   2019 Award Winner list 

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