Let’s make literacy and acceptance shine, Brooklyn! Last year, 19,000 New Yorkers nominated their favorite libraries (which was up 40% from the year before). Nominations are now officially open for the 4th annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards.  Think of every reason your favorite public library is the best; is it the welcoming environment to kids, or their free services for adults, or does it have incredible after school programs? Voting runs through March 13.

Nominations can be submitted at www.nyclibraryawards.org/nominate, through each library system’s website, or in person at any neighborhood library. Nominations will be accepted through March 13th, when ten finalists will be chosen. Five winning branches will receive a $20,000 prize, while the remaining finalists will receive $10,000 each. The NYC Neighborhood Library Awards recognize and reward public libraries for being the unsung heroes of New York – places where all are welcome, the programs and resources are free, and the librarians are making it all happen on a shoestring budget. From immigrant services to early childhood education to job training, libraries are on the front lines of serving the city’s most vulnerable communities. The awards, now in their fourth year, are an initiative of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

Rebecca Conroy grew up in NYC, has been a Brooklynite for 20 years, and is now the mom of two incredible young kids. Aside from writing, she works in photo and film production and has a rich history in the visual arts. Being a Teaching Artist in NYC’s public school system for years has allowed her to work closely with children and her community.