What are we looking for in The Bookseller’s Library of the Year 2020?
In these very difficult times, we believe it is more important than ever to celebrate what libraries have achieved over the past 12 months. We are looking for the best libraries in Britain: we want to celebrate libraries that support and foster reading with energy and dedication and which are a vital presence in their local communities. We want to see the imaginative ways in which libraries have reached out to users, how they have made the most of resources, and how individual librarians have contributed to their library’s success.
Working in partnership with The Reading Agency, we are inviting submissions of a maximum of 2,000 words from all public libraries and authorities. The Bookseller will then work with the 10 shortlisted libraries to produce detailed case studies on each, asking for more information where it is needed, for a special libraries focus feature in the magazine in July.
Who can enter?
Individual funded public libraries or a library authority on behalf of its libraries. If you are entering as an authority then you will need to highlight the performance of individual libraries under your management. School, prison, academic or specialist libraries are also eligible.
The award is primarily aimed at professionally staffed libraries. However a special commendation will also be on offer to the best community/volunteer-run library among the submissions.
How can you enter?
Please submit a single PDF containing your written submission of no more than 2,000 words, with a maximum of four high resolution pictures. Please note that you will not be penalised if your entry is less, even considerably less, than 2,000 words—we appreciate that librarians have many demands on their time and much shorter entries will also be fully considered.
Your written submission should ideally include:
* Evidence of the work that has been done to maintain and increase the number of book loans, both physical and digital.
* Description of how library stock is kept up-to-date, comprehensive and relevant to local users.
* Staffing at your library: how many qualified librarians, paid staff, or volunteers work there?
* Evidence of innovations that have improved the public experience of your library and increased footfall, such as author visits, reading schemes, children’s events, homework clubs, working with local festivals, or other outreach services; and, of course, any special activities you have been able to undertake during the coronavirus crisis.
Applications, and any questions, should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 12pm on Tuesday 26th May.
Good luck with your application! We look forward to hearing from you.