Catawba County has received national recognition as the second place winner of the 2017 LibraryAware Community Award, which recognizes cities and towns and their libraries that have demonstrated their ability to make their community aware of what the library can do for them—and deliver on that promise. The award is given by Library Journal and underwritten by LibraryAware™, a product of the NoveList division of EBSCO Information Services.
The LibraryAware Community Award is given annually to a community of any size and its library. Criteria for the award include any and all components that create a LibraryAware community such as strategic planning, marketing, outreach, partnerships, programs, and product or service development.
This award recognizes model communities that engage with their libraries to improve the lives of their citizens and create lifelong learners and library users. The Catawba County Library is a model of this goal as a leader in improving the overall literacy of its community, and supporting lifelong learning for residents.
The Catawba County Library was recognized for leading meaningful community collaboration through outreach and partnerships as seen through the county-wide BIG READ initiative, collaboration with Centro Latino to better engage and serve the Hispanic community, partnerships with local schools to support the county’s educational strategy, the Catawba County Partnership for Children to strengthen literacy, and NC Works to connect people with jobs. In a new partnership with the Hmong community, the library will begin a project to preserve Hmong heritage through a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant-funded digitization project.
Assistant County Manager, Mary Furtado said “The Library has focused on innovating to expand the reach of library services beyond the walls of the library, with a stated goal of meeting people where they are, bringing library resources and programming out into the community. The Library is well respected across our county and has a demonstrated reputation for responding to community needs with programming and services.”
The library demonstrated its commitment to focus on the priorities of the community and to make a difference in the lives of its citizens by engaging over 1,500 community members to develop the Library’s Strategic Plan, which drives and shapes everything the library is doing today. The library continues to keep an outward mindset as they convene residents and facilitate community conversations to learn the hopes and aspirations of the community, and to curate and share that public knowledge with key leaders. “The Library is well on its way to transforming its role in our community from a place people go to access books to that of a trusted convener who facilitates community dialog through authentic engagement” said Furtado.
The library communicates all of its resources and programming with customers and citizens in dynamic ways including TV, radio, newspaper, weekly emails, social media, and a full featured news and blogging site (librarynews.catawbacountync.gov). Catawba County will be featured along with the other 2017 Library Aware winners in the April issue of Library Journal. Fairmont City Library Center in Illinois was awarded first place and Kansas City Public Library in Missouri took third place.
Submissions were judged by the following library and community experts:
- John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary
- Amy Garmer, Director of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries
- Jim Blanton, Library Director of the Louisville Free Public Library, First Place Recipient of the 2016 LibraryAware Community Award
- Randall H. Reid, Southeast Regional Director of the ICMA
NoveList is dedicated to transforming lives through reading. By helping libraries help readers, NoveList empowers libraries to engage and inspire their communities. NoveList has been helping readers find their next favorite book for more than 20 years, and continues to develop innovative solutions for connecting readers, books, and libraries. As a division of EBSCO Information Services, NoveList specializes in readers’ advisory tools for libraries that include book discovery, catalog enrichment, and outreach. Find out more at www.ebscohost.com/novelist.
About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading discovery service provider for libraries worldwide with more than 11,000 discovery customers in over 100 countries. EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS) provides each institution with a comprehensive, single search box for its entire collection, offering unparalleled relevance ranking quality and extensive customization. EBSCO is also the preeminent provider of online research content for libraries, including hundreds of research databases, historical archives, point-of-care medical reference, and corporate learning tools serving millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions. EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals & books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 1,000,000 e-books. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.