- Six NYC branch libraries win an award and receive $20,000 each
- Five additional finalist libraries receive $10,000 each
- All eleven finalists are publicly honored at an award ceremony
- At least one branch from each of New York City's three public library systems (Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, and New York Public Library) receives a NYC Neighborhood Library Award
- There is no quota for any borough/county
- Library branches are judged based on the quality of the nominations, NOT on the greatest number of votes
- Nominations are vetted by a philanthropic review committee
- Ten finalists are selected and announced
- Five branch libraries are selected by a panel of judges to receive a NYC Neighborhood Library Award
- The Heckscher Foundation for Children selects one additional branch library to receive $20,000 and the Heckscher Prize for Outstanding Service to Children and Youth
- Everyone is eligible to nominate a branch, including individuals, elected officials, library staff, and representatives of community groups and businesses
- A library may NOT nominate itself, but a library staff member may submit a nomination for any branch, including his/her branch of employment
- Non-NYC residents who use NYC libraries are welcome to submit nominations
- You may nominate only ONE library for a NYC Neighborhood Library Award
- You may submit only ONE nomination
- Nominated libraries must be a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, or New York Public Library (which operates in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island)
- The library you nominate does not have to be located in the borough where you live. For example, some people most frequently use the library near their workplace or school.
- The strongest nominations explain why a library branch should win this award, using specific examples and personal anecdotes
- Online nominations are strongly encouraged, but you may request a paper nomination form at your local library.
- Nominations are accepted in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, Bengali, Polish, Arabic, and Urdu.