Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation Through Adversity

About the The Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation Through Adversity The Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation Through Adversity recognizes U.S. libraries and staff who overcome adversity and create lasting innovative community service programs that successfully inspire and connect with new readers.

Administered by:

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Award and Frequency

One $10,000 cash award given annually to a library in the U.S. If a suitable candidate is not found, the award will not be presented that year. In addition, four runner-up awards consisting of $1,000 in Penguin Random House books.

This award is given out on an annual basis.


Nominee libraries need to be located in the United States or its territories. Nominated librarians should have an MLS (or equivalent), but it is not required.

Applicant Responsibility

The award will be presented during the ALA President’s Program Awards Reception at the ALA Annual Conference. Attendance is strongly recommended.

Application Instructions

Please fill out the online application, which includes a narrative and supporting documentation.

Contact Information

Displaying active committee roster as of 06/20/2019. Last retrieved on 06/20/2019. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Selection Criteria

  • Evidence of hardship (economic hardship or natural disaster)
  • Show successful partnership(s) working together to overcome hardship (partners can include public schools, local business, museums, and other community organizations that support learning, reading programs and books.)
  • Strong focus on innovative and unique programming incorporating new technology, reading methods or formats, environmentally friendly materials, etc.
  • Evidence of successful outcomes.
  • Strong focus on inspiring and connecting with new readers.
  • Open to all types of libraries


Winners will be notified in May.