The Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award

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

2018: Award | 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.

2018 Award

The New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries is pleased to announce that the 2018 Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award has been awarded to the Clinton Community Libraryexternal link opens in a new window in Dutchess County for its Optimistic Aging [PDF file opens in a new window PDF; 616k] program.

The award will be officially presented in November at the New York Library Association Conference in Rochester. As the 2018 Shubert Award winner, the Clinton Community Library will receive $1,000, which is graciously donated by the Friends of the New York State Library, and a plaque.   

The Library’s creative and impactful Optimistic Aging program serves the aging population (almost half of the town’s 4,000 plus residents are over the age of 55) in the rural town of Clinton with significant input and active participation from local seniors.  First established in 2016 after a series of community focus groups and a community survey, Optimistic Aging offers a unique research supported platform encouraging seniors to stay mentally sharp, social engaged and ahead of disease and dementia.  Its topics, activities and time schedules dovetail seniors’ interests and life style.  Thinking that “seniors teaching seniors” learning may be the best way to entice and engage the older community, the Library makes a strong effort to locate senior program leaders who are as skilled in motivating as in teaching.

As a result, the Optimistic Aging program has enabled the library to build on its role as a community learning center and become an important community lifeline for Clinton seniors.  Seniors can participate in a myriad of free programs that encourage lifelong learning, healthy practices, physical activity, and social interaction. The Library offers a regular schedule of free yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi/Qigong classes and engages seniors through monthly “Lunch & Learn” workshops in collaboration with community partners and area colleges. To reduce isolation, the Library provides the platform for energetic seniors to create their own library programs like book clubs, concert series, line dancing and digital literacy courses.  The Library also provides transportation when needed. Participation has increased dramatically since the program’s inception in 2016 with an anticipated 2,244 seniors participating in 186 program sessions during 2018. 

The selection committee was impressed with the Clinton Community Library’s creative and thoughtful approach to reviewing the demographics of their rural community and then working with the community to design exciting learning opportunities for seniors that weave the interactive, overlapping components of mind, body and spirit.

Members of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries 2018 Shubert Award Committee are Dr. Colleen Sadowski, Chair, Emily Eich and Juan Rivera.  The Committee was uniformly enthusiastic in its decision to honor the Clinton Community Library’s submission as an excellent example of the “spirit of the Shubert award.” 

Previous Award Recipients

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


Rochester Public Libraryexternal link opens in a new window for its fines elimination pilot programexternal link opens in a new window.


Hendrick Hudson Free Library for their being the first library in Westchester County to be certified as a Green Business.


Red Hook Public Libraryexternal link for their recognition of its innovative programs and increase in attendance and circulation.

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


no award given


Winner: Southworth Library Learning Commonsexternal link at SUNY Canton for their transitioning to a learning commons model from a traditional academic library

    See their application: .PDF PDF file [966k]

Runner-up: School Library Systems Association of New York State, Inc. (SLSA) with its consortium of school systems across NYS to create the SLS Consortium of Online Resources for Educationexternal link (SCORE)


Winner: Greece Public Libraryexternal link for their expansion of programming space

  • See their application: .PDF PDF file [966k]


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


Winner: Queens Library, for Queens Library for Teens.

Runner-up: Milne Library/SUNY Geneseo, for “LILAC” (Library Instruction Leadership Academy)


Winner: New York City School Library System for their Tween to Teen program.

Runner-up: Western New York Library Resources Council for their project entitled, Ask Us 24/7


Winner: Mid-Hudson Library System in Poughkeepsie, New York, for the program entitled Health Information Project.

Runner-up: Queens Library for HealthLink.


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: October 17, 2018 -- asm