What made the 2014 winning libraries and finalists shine above the rest?

THE FIVE WINNERS of the 2014 NYC Neighborhood Library Awards received $20,000 each to spend toward making their libraries even better than before. The five remaining finalists received $10,000 to use toward their choice of library programs, supplies, and more. These ten libraries were awarded based on the tremendous and positive impact that they have on their communities, as highlighted in the videos below. 



The Langston Hughes Library used its $20,000 award to purchase books and DVDs for the children, young adults, adult, and Black Heritage collections. The library also purchased supplies which enabled them to expand children’s, teens, and adult programs as well as programs and lectures connected to the Black Heritage Reference Center.



The Mott Haven Library used its $20,000 award in areas that benefited both the community and staff. The major improvements included updating the Children’s Reading Room to include Interactive Learning Walls and installing a Charge Tech Power Floor Stand Charging Station for teen and adult patrons to charge their cell phones, tablets, and other devices. The branch also purchased tables, stools, book trucks, and received a new paint job. The staff room was outfitted with new lockers, a dining table, and a television.



The New Lots Library used its award to fund technology enhancements, programming, and outreach. Beginning in 2016, the branch began to offer a series of author talks, specialized children’s programs, gardening programs, teen Entrepreneur workshops, and movie screenings. The funding allowed the branch to purchase uniforms for its senior virtual bowling team, a charging station, an Xbox, and additional outlets. New Lots Library also purchased shelving units for the branch’s offsite deposit collections, which make books available at local shelters, daycare centers, and community organizations. Finally, the library held a community celebration to honor and thank all of its patrons for their support.



The Parkchester Library used its award to make creative updates that would attract more teen patrons and better serve children. This included adding wall decals, children’s tables and chairs, charging station tables, and a sofa for socializing in the teen section. While the branch already had some charging stations, they were only in the adult section. The library staff hopes that the improved space for teens will bring the neighborhood’s teenagers back into the branch.




The Stapleton Library spent the award on resources to strengthen programming in the branch. The library’s Community Room was upgraded to include a wall-mounted wide screen television and sound system, which is used for the branch’s Tech Connect trainings, film screenings, and youth entertainment programs. The branch purchased furniture and equipment for the creation of an outdoor space for early literacy programs. Staff also purchased equipment and materials to expand the community garden. A portion of the funds were used to support technology-focused programming, and the library hopes to add more STEM-based educational offerings to its programming repertoire. 





The Cambria Heights Library used its $10,000 award to expand program offerings to customers of every age. For teens, the library funded workshops on college admissions and the SAT, as well as programs focused on art and engineering. Elementary school-aged children were invited to create button necklaces and headbands, and to participate in group Lego-building projects. The library hosted a Kwanzaa celebration including drummers and dancers. Senior citizens enjoyed a series of matinee concerts. The library offered yoga in the evening and Zumba in the afternoon. Additionally, the library presented programming on African-American history.



The Clinton Hill Library used its $10,000 award to create a new and inviting teen-friendly area for the branch’s young adult patrons.  Award funds were allocated for the purchase of four new tables equipped with electrical outlet receptacles for charging laptops, tablets, cell phones, and other devices. The remaining funds covered the costs associated with installing new outlets and related electrical work.



The Jefferson Market Library used its $10,000 award to create the Children’s Room environment the community had long requested. Instead of the existing computer hub in the middle of the children’s floor, which patrons complained were noisy and distracted from a study environment, the library switched to a wireless model. They purchased a wireless access point, new laptops, and new furniture. Children still have computer/internet access, but are using laptops instead. The noise level on the children’s floor has since dropped dramatically, creating a markedly calmer atmosphere. Plus, the tables that once held four PCs now seat up to 8 people studying and reading!



The Sunnyside Library used its $10,000 award to fund programs for patrons, including STEM programs for children. These programs included 3D printing, edible insects, and environmental programs. The library also funded art programs for adults, such as Japanese Ink Painting, and collaborated with professional artists.



The Windsor Terrace Library used the majority of its $10,000 award to fund the improvement of public programming areas, including new furniture and technology. This included the purchase of new tables for the public meeting room, window shades to block out sun glare during daytime programs, and seating for the adult room. In addition, a laptop computer was purchased to be used in conjunction with the library’s new Smart Board. This laptop will enable staff to offer more interactive computer classes for adults and to provide enhanced story-time programs.