Chatham Square Library Nominated for the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards
The “NYC Neighborhood Library Awards” just announced its ten finalists (across the five boroughs) for this year’s “Oscars of the Libraries,” and one Lower East Side library happened to make the cut.
The Chatham Square Library is officially in the running for receiving some extra funds to invest into additional programming and services for the Chinatown community at large. This awards ceremony shines a light on public libraries being paramount within their communities, as well as a haven for patrons to take advantage of free offerings and resources throughout the year. And on a tight budget to boot. This is all thanks to an initiative by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, and the Heckscher Foundation.
But the real library love in this story comes from the patrons. An overwhelming 24,000 people wrote to the awards committee singing their library’s praises. They shared stories about librarians going the extra mile, generously engaging the community in services and resources that have proved to be life-changing.
One patron from Chatham wrote, “This is the library I have been going to since I was 10 years old as a new immigrant without knowing any English. At first, it was a resource center for Chinese language books, newspaper and magazines for me and my family. Now, I am a parent with 2 young children and I have come full circle to return to this library to get Chinese books to teach my kids Chinese language. Without this library, I wouldn’t have retained my Chinese language, nor improved my English.”
Nominated branches were narrowed down based on patrons’ nominations, circulation data, program attendance, on site visits, and the recommendations of a philanthropic review committee. Winners will be selected and announced this coming October, by a panel of judges including authors Francine Prose, Min Jin Lee, and Eric Klinenberg; Executive Director of the National Book Foundation Lisa Lucas; and Commissioner & CEO of Chicago Public Library Brian Bannon. Judges will select the top five winners for a $20,000 prize and the remaining finalists will receive $10,000 to spend on their branch.