Small library gets big award!

Red Hook Public Library chosen as finalist for Best Small Library in America

Red Hook Public Library has been named as the first finalist for the 2015 Best Small Library in America Award, given by Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Established in 2005, the award celebrates libraries that serve less than 25,000 people in innovative ways, including partnering with other agencies and businesses.

“We are beyond thrilled with this award. We think of ourselves as the little library that can,” says Red Hook Public Library Director Erica Freudenberger. “Our small size allows us to be nimble and creative, and forces us to think differently about how to serve our community.”

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Red Hook Public Library was recognized for its creativity in developing services and programs that can be replicated by other libraries, for using technology to expand the reach of library services, for the demonstrated support it has of the Red Hook community, its role as an active community center and partnerships with other organizations. The library is located at 7444 S. Broadway in Red Hook.

“The award affirms the work we’ve been doing,” says Barry Ramage, President of the Board of Trustees of Red Hook Public Library. “By working with and engaging the community, we have seen an outpouring of support and enthusiasm for the library. The board would like to thank the community for their continued support. We would also like to express our appreciation for the efforts of our Director, Erica Freudenberger, the library staff, the Friends of the RHPL and our group of volunteers. It is through their efforts that the library has been placed in a position to receive this national recognition.”

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As first finalist, Red Hook Public Library will receive a $10,000 cash prize and funds to cover two library staff attending the 2016 Public Library Association conference.

“The award is a tremendous validation of our efforts to focus on the community,” says Freudenberger, “and it provides us with a chance to further our education through attending a national conference and learning from our peers. We couldn’t be more delighted.”

Red Hook Public Library will host a celebration for the award at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 21, at the old Lyceum Theater on Market Street in Red Hook. The event is free and open to the public; registration is required. To register, please call the library at 845-758-3241.

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Library Journal’s Best Small Library in America Award is an annual award, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The award was created in 2005 to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of libraries serving populations under 25,000.

Red Hook Public Library has been serving the community of Red Hook and its need for lifelong learning since 1898. In 1935, the library made its home in a mid-nineteenth century octagonal building based on the designs of Orson Squire Fowler. In both 2013 and 2014, it was designated a five-star library by Library Journal. 

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