Loudoun County Public Library wins ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/21/2019


Cheryl M Malden

Program Officer


American Library Association



CHICAGO — The Loudoun County Public Library (Leesburg, Virginia) has been named the 2019 winner of the American Library Association's Excellence in Library Programming Award for its program, Science On Tap.

The award, supported by ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund, recognizes a library that demonstrates excellence by providing programs that have community impact and respond to community needs.

In 2017, Loudoun County Public Library, located in a one of the most highly educated communities in the nation, faced a critical service gap.  Few adults were engaging with the programming without their children. As a remedy, the library created an expanded lineup of relevant adult-focused programs. Science on Tap was developed as a flagship monthly series in this effort. Held at a local brewery in the heart of Loudoun’s tech business corridor its audience consisted of educated science- and tech-savvy adults, many of whom work at nearby tech companies.

Loudoun County Public Library, Old Ox Brewery, and the world-renowned Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus formed this winning program which was held at Old Ox Brewery. Science on Tap has a clearly defined focus on the sciences, and targets the audience with programs on biology, neuroscience, cybersecurity, counterterrorism, bomb analysis, and space science. Each month nationally and internationally recognized experts present top-level scientific information, often their own groundbreaking research.

Science on Tap presenters have been awarded lifetime achievement recognitions, including the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation Brain Prize; the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers; the McKnight Investigator Award; the Byers Award in Basic Science; the Soloway Lecture Award, National Institutes of Health; and the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medal and Distinguished Career Intelligence Medals.

The ALA Excellence in Library Program Award, consisting of $5,000 and a citation of achievement, will be presented to the Loudoun County Public Library at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

Members of the 2018-2019 ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award committee were: Chair Tim Grimes, Ann Arbor District Library, MI; Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Canada; Robin Kear, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Marcus Lowry, Ramsey County Library, Minnesota; and Catherine L. Murray-Rust, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.

More information about the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award, including how to submit a nomination, is available on the ALA website.