The 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.
New York City School Library System is 2022 Shubert Library Excellence Award Winner
The New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries is pleased to announce that the 2022 Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award has been awarded to the New York City School Library System for its Citywide Digital Library program.
The award was officially presented last week at the New York Library Association Conference in Saratoga, NY. As the 2022 Shubert Award winner, the New York City School Library System will receive $1,000, which is graciously donated by the Friends of the New York State Library, and a plaque.
When the shift to remote learning caused by COVID-19 left over 500,000 students without access to library resources, The New York City School Library System turned crisis into opportunity by launching a new initiative to increase student use and access of quality digital collections and transform students’ reading experiences in the process. Citywide Digital Library on Sora (CDL) provides every New York City student – regardless of their school – with immediate access to over a million digital books in multiple languages, formats, reading levels, and diverse content with a single school sign-on through their computer, tablet, or smartphone. The CDL champions equity for all with collections for LGBTQ+, BIPOC, Asian, Latinx, and neurodiverse students, supports immigrant and migrant communities with books in multiple languages, and advocates for intellectual freedom and inclusion with collections from diverse perspectives, on civics, and a commitment to student data privacy.
The Shubert Award Committee applauds this work, and unanimously awarded the 2022 Shubert Award to the New York City School Library System.
Grace Riario, Chair of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, had these comments about the 2022 Shubert Award: “The New York City School Library System’s Citywide Digital Library initiative highlights the shared values in RAC Vision 2022: Universal Access, Equity for All, Resilient Communities, Passionate Advocates, and Innovation Engines. This project also exemplifies our three Strategic Priorities by ensuring that New York City students have access to information and the internet, advancing diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging, and powerfully demonstrating that libraries are essential to the social wellbeing of communities.”
Members of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries 2022 Shubert Award Committee are Lauren Moore, State Librarian, Tatiana Bryant, S. Michele Echols, Grace Riario, and Alicia Thompson.
The Joseph F. Shubert Excellence Award is given annually to recognize the achievements of libraries and library consortia in New York State. 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. Joseph F. Shubert served as New York State Librarian from 1977 to 1996.
Previous Award Recipients
- 2020: Nyack Library, Black American Culture & Arts Series: The Legacy of Toni Morrison
- 2019: Southern Adirondack Library System, Fresh Food Collective Farm-2-Library Distribution initiative
- 2018: Clinton Community Library, Optimistic Aging
- 2017: Rochester Public Library, Fines elimination pilot program
- 2016: Hendrick Hudson Free Library, for being the first library in Westchester County to be certified as a Green Business
- 2015: Red Hook Public Library, recognition of its innovative programs and increase in attendance and circulation
- 2014: No award given.
- 2013: Southworth Library Learning Commons (SUNY Canton), for transitioning to a learning commons model from a traditional academic library.
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 Education (SCORE)
- 2012: Greece Public Library, for expansion of programming space
- 2011: The New York Public Library (NYPL), for their project titled Homework NYC.
Runner-up: Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (BOCES) School Library System, for their regional school library system union catalog FiveSystems.org
- 2010: Queens Library, Queens Library for Teens.
Runner-up: Milne Library/SUNY Geneseo, for “LILAC” (Library Instruction Leadership Academy)
- 2009: New York City School Library System, Tween to Teen program.
Runner-up: Western New York Library Resources Council, for their project titled Ask Us 24/7
- 2008: Mid-Hudson Library System, Health Information Project.
Runner-up: Queens Library for HealthLink.
- 2007: Galway Public Library, Story Quilt, a "one-of-a-kind literary, social history project"
- 2006: 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. Also, 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."
- 2005: 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; and 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.
- 2004: 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; and 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.
- 2002: 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.
- 2001: Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, Unique approach to addressing specific consumer health needs of patrons. Also, Four County Library System, Vestal, Exemplary approach to providing Internet resources to a rural community via a Cybermobile project.
- 2000: Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and Lincoln High School Media Center
- 1999: Kendall Jr. High School Library and Mohawk Valley Library System
- 1998: Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Borough Public Library, and 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 Mentions: Voorheesville Public Library and Woodward Memorial Library