EBSCO Excellence in Rural Library Service Award

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Sponsored by the Public Library Association and EBSCO Information Services. To nominate a library for this award, please visit the PLA Awards Online Application.

Purpose and Criteria

The EBSCO Excellence in Rural Library Service Award provides recognition and an honorarium to a public library serving a population of 10,000 or less with an upper per capita income limit of not more than the 75th quartile of the national average that demonstrates excellence of service to its community as exemplified by an overall service program or a special program of significant accomplishment. Individual branch libraries of a library system are not eligible to apply. The award honors a public library for all or any of the following:

  • Uniqueness of service of program
  • Impact of program or service on community
  • How the service or program will affect the future of the library and its community

Number and Frequency of Award

Only one library shall receive this annual award. No award shall be given if applicants do not meet the award criteria.

2020 Recipient

Astor County Library (Astor, FL)

Past Recipients

  • 2019 Copper Queen Library (Bisbee, AZ)
  • 2018 Scottsboro (AL) Public Library
  • 2017 David A. Howe (NY) Public Library
  • 2016 East Berlin (PA) Community Library
  • 2015 San Juan Island Library, Friday Harbor, WA
  • 2014 Bertha Voyer Memorial Library, Honey Grove, TX
  • 2013 Cross Plains (TX) Public Library
  • 2012 Kinsley (KS) Public Library
  • 2011 Independence (KS) Public Library
  • 2010 Gilpin County Public Library, Black Hawk, CO
  • 2009 John C. Fremont Library District, Florence, CO
  • 2008 Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth, ME
  • 2007 Kenai (AK) Community Library
  • 2006 Williamsfield (IL) Public Library
  • 2005 Curtis Township Library, Glennie, MI
  • 2004 Tecumseh Public Library, Tecumseh, OK
  • 2003 Haines Borough (AK) Public Library
  • 2002 Wallow County (OR) Library
  • 2001 Alpine Public Library (AZ)
  • 2000 Clearwater County Free Library (ID)
  • 1999 Little Boston Branch of the Kitsap (Wash.) Regional Library
  • 1998 Littleton (NH) Public Library
  • 1997 Littleton (CO) Public Library
  • 1996 Waialua (HI) Public Library
  • 1995 Franklin County Public Library, East Point, FL
  • 1994 Alan Bolster Ricker Memorial Library and Community House, Poland, ME
  • 1993 Decorah Public Library, Decorah, IA
  • 1992 Kingman Carnegie Library, Kingman, KS

Selection of Jury to Administer the Award

The President of the Public Library Association will appoint jury members. The EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service Award Jury will consist of 1 chair and no more than 9 other members. Jurors must have an awareness of the small and/or rural public library community, its needs and service possibilities.

Presentation of the Award

The jury shall review the candidates and select a winner at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Announcement shall be made at that time. The award shall be presented at the PLA President’s Program during the ALA Annual Conference.

Donor and Form of the Award

A plaque and a $1,000 cash award from EBSCO Information Services.

Nomination Procedure

The nomination describing what this public library has done to meet the criteria for the award with supporting documentation and attachments should be submitted through the online application. Include a description of the library and its community.

How to Nominate a Library

To nominate a library for this award, please visit the PLA Awards Online Application.

PLA will forward the nominations to the current chair of the EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service Award Committee. PLA reserves the right to extend the application deadline.