2015 LibraryAware Community Award

March 31, 2015 (Topeka, Kan.) -The library has cause to celebrate the work it has done to engage and assist the community.

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library was given a 2015 LibraryAware Community Award by Library Journal and underwritten by LibraryAwareTM, a product of the NoveList division of EBSCO Information Services. The Dothan Houston County Library System in Alabama was the first place recipient, Saint Paul Public Library in Minnesota was awarded second place, while third place went to Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library.

The award recognizes model communities that engage with their libraries to improve the lives of their citizens and create life-long learners.

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

"This is as much an award for our community as it is for the library itself," said Gina Millsap, chief executive officer of the Topeka Library (pictured at right). "The community gives us opportunities to serve them in new and innovative ways."

Several community involvement initiatives were recognized by Library Journal in an article published today:
• The library's involvement in the Heartland Visioning planning process, chaired by CEO Gina Millsap.
• Its founding partnership with 712 Innovations, the downtown makerspace, in which an "embedded" librarian devotes 10-15 hours a week assisting local entrepreneurs and business owners.
• Its 40-some librarian facilitators, who help community organizations work toward success.
• Its Candidate School program, which invests in the future of Topeka through educating its future lawmakers.

"As a one-building library serving 180,000 people living in a 550 square mile area, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL) needs to be civic-minded-and with a wide range of programs and local initiatives, TSCPL lives up to its goals, serving members of the community at every level," writes Library Journal author Lisa Peet.

The library will receive $5,000 as part of the award. A plaque will be presented to the community 11 a.m. June 3, during a Summerfest kick-off event.

"The library will use the award money to support its 'With this Card' campaign that encourages people to take advantage of all the ways their library can improve their lives," said Millsap.

About the Library

The Topeka & Shawnee County Library offers an outstanding collection of books, movies, music in print, digital and audio formats. It also features the Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery, the Millennium Café, the Chandler Booktique, state-of-the-art meeting rooms and free computer/Internet access and training.

Library hours are Mon. through Fri. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.