New York, NY – June 7, 2016 – The winners of the annual “Oscars of Libraries” have been chosen! Six library branches from Queens (Arverne, Glen Oaks), Brooklyn (Sunset Park), Manhattan (Inwood), and the Bronx (Morrisania, Jerome Park) have won the 3rd annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. The honor, an initiative of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Charles H. Revson Foundation, awards $20,000 to six outstanding public libraries – places where all are welcome, the programs and resources are free, and the librarians are making it all happen on a shoestring budget.

“We are thrilled to honor these library branches as heroes in their communities,” said Julie Sandorf, President of the Charles H. Revson Foundation. “From ESOL classes for new immigrants, to after-school safe havens for at-risk youth, these institutions play a critical role in shaping the lives of New Yorkers all across the city. To keep up with the high demand for programs and services, we must continue to invest in our libraries.”

“Congratulations to the six winning neighborhood libraries and the five finalists who have gone above and beyond to provide exceptional services and programming for their communities,” said Sarah Needham of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. “In neighborhoods from Glen Oaks to Inwood, these libraries are critical resources for New Yorkers. For providing excellent after-school programs, job search assistance, story-time and adult learning classes, and much more, our City depends on our excellent libraries now more than ever.”

To document the impact of these exemplary library branches on their surrounding communities, acclaimed filmmakers Juliane Dressner and Nara Garber produced a series of two-minute documentaries on each of the winning branches and five additional finalists. The mini-documentaries feature stories of New Yorkers whose lives have been improved by libraries and their dedicated staff—individuals like Juan from Sunset Park, a recent immigrant who hopes to take advantage of the free legal services at the library so he can bring his wife to the U.S.; and 89-year-old Gertrude from Glen Oaks, who takes one-on-one technology classes so that she can use her iPad to stay connected with family. Watch all eleven films HERE.

In a new twist this year, a sixth branch was chosen to receive a $20,000 prize: the Heckscher Foundation for Children awarded the Heckscher Prize for Outstanding Service to Children and Youth to the Jerome Park Library (the Bronx)—a branch that has proven its commitment to the City’s youth through special programs, classes and events.

In addition to the six winners of this year’s top prize, the five remaining finalists were presented with checks for $10,000 for their remarkable service to the community. They are:

  • Aguilar Library – East Harlem (Manhattan)
  • Dyker Library – Dyker Heights (Brooklyn)
  • Far Rockaway Library – Far Rockaway (Queens)
  • Fort Washington Library – Washington Heights (Manhattan)
  • Kings Bay Library– Sheepshead Bay (Brooklyn)

Click here to read the full press release and find out more about the winners!