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Pennsylvania Library Association Awards

View awards presented by the Association and their criteria, and see previous award winners. Nominations for 2020 are being accepted until Wednesday, July 22 at 5:00 pm.

Nominate a deserving library or individual!


Carolyn W. Field Award

The Youth Services Division of PaLA has an Award Committee to choose the award winning titles each year. 

The Youth Services Division sponsors the annual Carolyn W. Field Award (CWF) for the best book for young people by a Pennsylvania author or illustrator. The goal of this award is to recognize outstanding books of authors or illustrators living in Pennsylvania. It is given annually to either an author or an illustrator for a specific book, which may be either fiction or nonfiction.

Best Practices Awards & David J. Roberts EXCEL Library Service Award

Since 2004, Pennsylvania libraries have been recognized for their exceptional services to youth (birth to 18) with the Best Practices Award. The Youth Services Division of PaLA has a Best Practices Committee to choose these annual awards.

Winners (and honorable mentions) are selected in the following eight categories: Display & Design, High School, Infant/Toddler, STEM, School Age, Preschool, Middle School, and Family/Multi-generational. 

Additionally, one library will receive the David J. Roberts EXCEL Library Service Award. Selected from the entire group of best practices winners, the award represents the "Best of the Best" practices for library early learning. The honor includes a monetary gift of $1,000. 

The Committee will honor the winners at the Best Practices Award session at the Annual Conference. Past winners

Apply here for the 2020 Best Practices Awards!

Applications are due May 30, 2020.

Find a list of the 2019 winners and honorable mentions.

Find a list of the 2018 winners and honorable mentions.

Find a list of the 2017 winners and honorable mentions.

Find a list of the 2016 winners and honorable mentions.

Find a list of the 2015 winners and honorable mentions.

NEW! Humanities in Action Award

The Pennsylvania Library Association Best Practices Committee is excited to partner with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council in presenting the Humanities in Action Award, created to spotlight and honor library programs for youth ages 12-18 that effectively use the humanities as a tool for positive youth development. We are seeking nominations for humanities-based youth programs that:


·  Build skills in communication, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, literacy and leadership;

·  Guide youth in socio-emotional learning and support them as they begin to discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to relate to other people; and

·  Promote youth voices and compel youth to take action to create positive change in their communities.


The Humanities in Action Award will be presented in partnership with the Pennsylvania Library Association as one of its Best Practices Awards. Any Pennsylvania-based youth library program is encouraged to apply.  


The honor includes a $500 monetary gift.


For more information and to download the application, go to:

2020 Humanities in Action Award Application

The deadline to submit the application is Monday, July 6, 2020. Winners will be notified in early July.


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