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Nominate Your Local Branch for the 'Oscars of Libraries'

By Julia Bottles | February 8, 2017 2:54pm
 Libraries around the city will face off for a $20,000 NYC Neighborhood Library Awards prize.
Libraries around the city will face off for a $20,000 NYC Neighborhood Library Awards prize.
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Facebook/Brooklyn Public Library

Give back to your local library by nominating it for the "Oscars of libraries."

Patrons can now flag any branch of the New York Public Library, Queens Library, or Brooklyn Public Library systems for the 4th annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards, which comes with a $20,000 top prize, organizers said.

Nominations can be made online and by filling out a paper form — available in 10 languages — at local branches through March 13. 

Ten finalists will be selected based on nominations, circulation and program attendance data, visits by judges to watch the branches in action and the recommendations of a philanthropic review committee.

The finalists are then whittled down by a panel of judges to a list of five, each of which will win $20,000.

The remaining finalists who were not selected for the top prize will receive $10,000 each.

The Heckscher Foundation for Children will also award $20,000 to a branch with a proven commitment to youth programming.

Last year's six top prize winners were the:

• Inwood Library (Manhattan), which has added new charging stations, book bins and a media cart
• Morrisania Library (The Bronx), which is adding four new computers, a new TV for library programming and several gaming consoles
• Jerome Park Library (The Bronx), which is purchasing new seating, replacing old shelving in the children's section and expanding children's programming
• Glen Oaks Library (Queens), which is buying furniture, sewing machines and video gaming equipment
• Arverne Library (Queens), which has refreshed its children's book collection, hosted Zumba classes and holiday workshops, and stocked its shelves with test prep books
• Sunset Park (Brooklyn), which has created a staff development and team building workshop and bought art and music equipment for children's programming

Nearly 19,000 New Yorkers nominated their local branches in 2016, according to organizers.