Friday, October 22, 2010


The New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries is pleased to announce that the 2010 Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award has been awarded to the Queens Library for their entry entitled, “Queens Library for Teens”.

The Queens Library for Teens, part of Queens Library, opened in December 2008 and is located in Far Rockaway. With encouragement from the community, Queens Library pursued grants including a federally-funded Juvenile Justice Grant to support the renting of an empty storefront to house the teen library. It is two blocks away from the full-service library and is 3,500 square feet. It has unilaterally renewed library service for the community at every age level because it directs and serves teens in and out of school who had previously been disruptive in the community library. At the same time, it gives teens incentive to stay in school/get a GED and directs them into socially positive activities. The “bait” that draws teens to the space has been technology. The Queens Library for Teens has 40 customer-use computers with high-speed internet access. The teen computers can be used to do homework, access Facebook, and email. A key component is that the teens must behave in an acceptable manner in order to gain entry. Dedicated youth counselors provide service and referrals, while librarians at the full-service branch give in-depth traditional reference services. Collections, programs and facilities are geared toward the interests of teens. More than 120 teens use the center every week day.

Runner-up for this year’s Shubert Award is the Milne Library/SUNY Geneseo for their project entitled, “LILAC” (Library Instruction Leadership Academy). LILAC is a collaborative professional development project designed, organized and delivered by librarians and educators representing 8 comprehensive colleges, 4 community and/or technical colleges, 10 schools within the K-12 system and the Rochester Regional Library Council. To round out the variety of educational institutions involved in LILAC, eleven librarians were accepted into the academy with experience and background ranging from a local homeschooling initiative to an elementary school library to specialized librarians serving graduate-level programs. It was developed to be a semester-long intensive learning experience for novice instruction librarians that incorporates a variety of learning experiences including workshops, field experience, assigned readings, personal reflection, discussion, and a final culminating project. The academy was designed to provide librarians new to instruction the pedagogical training and practice necessary to effectively teach library and information literacy concepts and skills. With a $3,500 award from the Harold Hacker Advancement of Libraries Grant and $1,100 collected in participant fees, LILAC’s total budget came to $4,600. This figure, however, does not reflect the thousands of dollars contributed via in-kind and volunteer support (approximately $24,000).

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries 2010 Shubert Award Committee (consisting of Sam Simon, Chair; Sara Kelly Johns and Louise Sherby) was enthusiastic in its decision to honor the Queens Library submission as an excellent example of “the spirit of the Shubert award”. Members from the Shubert Award Committee, along with a representative from the Friends of the New York State Library who have graciously donated the $1,000 award money, will present a plaque and the award money at the New York Library Association’s annual conference in Saratoga Springs in November. A plaque will also be presented to the runner-up, Milne Library/SUNY Geneseo
The Joseph F. Shubert Excellence Award is given annually to recognize the achievements of small, medium and large 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. For more information about the Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award and the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, visitHERE or contact the Office of the State Librarian at (518) 474-5930.

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