ALA Council approves new Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation Through Adversity

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/28/2019


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer


American Library Association


CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) Council, at a Sunday session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, approved the new Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation Through Adversity.

The award, which ALA intends to present at its Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., recognizes the staff of U.S. libraries who overcome adversity to create lasting innovative community service programs that inspire and connect with readers.

The award is open to public, school, and academic libraries. The $10,000 cash prize given to a library is sponsored by the Penguin Random House Foundation. In addition, four runner-up awards consisting of $1,000 in Penguin Random House books will be awarded to eligible libraries.

Skip Dye, Vice President, Library Marketing and Sales Operations for Penguin Random House said: “Libraries are essential and invaluable assets to community, providing a safe space for freedom of expression, diversity, and education. On behalf of Penguin Random House, it’s a privilege to recognize and honor libraries that effectively overcome adversity in support of their local community.”

Jury chair, Andrea Lapsley stated, “We are excited that the award is open to all libraries. Librarians or library staff will be recognized, and the funds will be used for their library. Although we do not want libraries to experience hardships, this is a way to recognize those that innovate and excel during times of crisis. We thank the Penguin Random House Foundation for their sponsorship of this significant award.”

The nomination must show evidence of hardship, including economic difficulties or natural disasters, and demonstrate successful partnership(s) that work to overcome the hardship. Partners can include schools, local business, museums, and other community organizations. The nomination should focus on innovative and unique programming that may include new technology, reading methods or formats, outreach, etc. Nominees are not required to have a Master’s in Library Science degree but is preferred.

The award application can be found online ( beginning January 28, 2019. The deadline for applications is March 16. The award will be present at the ALA annual conference in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, June 23 during the ALA President’s Program.