The Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award

The New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, Friends of the New York State Library

2016: Announcement; Application

Previous Recipients

image of Joseph F. Shubert; click on the image to see a larger versionThe Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award is given annually to recognize the achievements of small, medium and large libraries and library consortia in New York State. Named after the late Joseph F. Shubert, former State Librarian, the Award honors libraries or library consortia that have taken significant steps within the past two years to improve the quality of library service to users.

The New York State Regents Advisory Council is pleased to sponsor the Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award.  The award includes a gift of $1,000 supplied by the Friends of the New York State Library. Other notable projects may also be recognized and honored for their achievements.

Please note that the application deadline for the 2016 award is August 1, 2016.

2015 Award

The New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries is pleased to announce that the 2015 Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award has been awarded to the Red Hook Public Library for their recognition of its innovative programs and increase in attendance and circulation.

The past five years have been a time of tremendous growth and change for the Red Hook Public Library.  If the library were to thrive, it would require rethinking about what it was doing and how it was doing it.  As the library began to build momentum, a strategic plan was developed complete with a new vision and mission statement to more accurately reflect the direction the library planned to take.  Library staff revamped their web site,external link began issuing a monthly e-newsletter and began an ambitious series of programs.  Since 2010, visits to the Library have increased 516%,; attendance at programs has increased 140%, and circulation has increased 23%.

In 2015, Red Hook Public Library had the great honor of being named a finalist for the “Best Small Library in America” award given by Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The award was presented in October 2015 at the New York Library Association Conference in Lake Placid. As the 2015 Shubert Award winner, the Red Hook Public Library received $1,000, which is graciously donated by the Friends of the New York State Library, and a plaque.    

Members of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries 2015 Shubert Award Committee are Steven Manning, Claudia Depkin and Ann Thornton.  The Committee was uniformly enthusiastic in its decision to honor the Red Hook Public Library submission as an excellent example of the “spirit of the Shubert award.”

2015 Awards Press Release .PDF PDF file [70k]; See their application: .PDF PDF file [187k]

Previous Award Recipients

[Click on the links below to view their applications for the Award and/or links to more information about the project.]

(2014: no award given)





  • Winner: The New York Public Library (NYPL) for their project entitled Homework NYCexternal link
    • See their application: .PDF PDF file [634k]
  • Runner-up: Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (BOCES) School Library System, for their regional school library system union catalog FiveSystems.orgexternal link





Story Quilt, a "one-of-a-kind literary, social history project of the Galway Public Library...."

Story quilt cover; Galway Public Library; click to enlarge the image.Left: cover of Story Quilt: Poems of a Place by the People Who Live Here; A project of the Galway Public Library. See Galway's application for more information and pictures.


  • Southeastern New York Library Resources Council: "The Hudson River Valley Heritage (HRVH) Service," providing online access to historical materials from New York State's Hudson River Valley to researchers, students and the general public.
  • Albany Public Library: Bookmobile service, coordinated by the Library's Outreach Department, providing day-to-day programs and services so that "[e]very City of Albany resident shall have regular and equitable access to the information, educational, and recreational resources and programs of the Albany Public Library."


  • Southern Adirondack Library System: "Statewide Performer Database," a unique project that supports statewide youth library service by compiling programming and performer information from all across New York.
  • Mid-York Library System: The "Regional Read" project promoted literacy and community involvement by encouraging people to read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and to participate in programs related to the book.


  • Rochester Regional Library Council: "CLIC-on-Health" project, an outstanding approach to providing the people of the greater Rochester area with high-quality healthcare information and resources.
  • Cortland Junior/Senior High School Library: "Parent-Child Book Club" project, an exceptional approach to promoting literacy by bringing together eighth graders and their parents for literary discussions and author presentations.


  • Albany Public Library: "First Stop/The Next Step" project, a unique approach to addressing the needs of those in the community who are in the process of making the transition from incarceration to employment.


  • Crandall Public Library, Glen Falls: Unique approach to addressing specific consumer health needs of patrons.
  • Four County Library System, Vestal: Exemplary approach to providing Internet resources to a rural community via a Cybermobile project.


  • Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
  • Lincoln High School Media Center


  • Kendall Jr. High School Library
  • Mohawk Valley Library System


  • Brooklyn Public Library
  • Queens Borough Public Library
  • North Country Reference and Research Resources Council


  • Port Washington Public Library
  • Science, Industry & Business Library
  • Potsdam Public Library
  • Reading Room Association of Gouverneur
  • Finger Lakes Library System & Project Partners
  • University Libraries, SUNY at Buffalo University
  • Southern Westchester BOCES School Library System
  • Suffolk Cooperative Library System


  • New York Academy of Medicine Library
  • The New York Public Library – The Branch Libraries
  • Lawville Free Library
  • Mohawk Valley Library Association
  • Nassau School Library System
  • Fairport Library Council


  • Brooklyn Public Library
  • Queens Borough Public Library
  • Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
  • Mid-York Library System
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Voorheesville Public Library
    • Woodward Memorial Library
Last Updated: June 30, 2016