Library Building Award


Awarded by the American Institue of Architects in partnership with the American Library Association/Library Leadership and Management Association

The Henrico County Public Library’s Varina Area Library won the prestigious 2017 AIA/ALA Library Building Award. The library, designed by Richmond architecture firm BCWH and Tappé Architects of Boston, was one of eight American and European libraries to be recognized. The Library Building Award is presented by the American Institute of Architects in conjunction with the American Library Association, and is the only award that recognizes whole library buildings for their design. All library buildings completed after 2012 and designed by an architect licensed in the United States were eligible for the award.

3 Books 4 Me

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

3bks4MeNacoHenrico County Public Library’s (HCPL) 3 Books 4 Me reader’s advisory service was developed in an effort to expand public service interactions with teen patrons. Teen services librarians began providing form-based and online readers’ advisory in February 2014. This service was so successful that in 2015 Henrico County Public Schools provided a link to the online form on their Summer Reading assignment sheets. Providing reading recommendations using this service allows library staff more time to provide thoughtful recommendations since there is not the immediacy of in-person interactions. Teens are provided at least three recommendations with links to the title in the HCPL online catalog. There they can read more about the title and place a request to have the item put on hold for them at their choice of pick-up location.

100 Brilliant Ideas at Work Award: Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

NeighborhoodAwardNeighborhood Collections are a new way of organizing materials that is more responsive to the way that children and teens look for books. The program began in Henrico County Public Libraries (HCPL) in 2012, when Erin Lovelace, a Children’s Librarian in the county, noticed a need for children’s books to be organized by subject to improve ease of access. The first Neighborhoods were created for children, and the subjects were Dinosaurs, Transportation, and Farms. Each of these Neighborhoods included both fiction and non-fiction titles for preschool to early elementary children. The program was then expanded to encompass teen literature, and teen books were grouped into Neighborhoods based on emotion and mood. After assessing the program, both the Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections added to the customer experience and improved circulation of materials.

Library Author Showcase

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

authorShowcaseAwardThe Henrico Community Author Showcase is a public library program which allows local authors to present and promote their books and discuss and connect with other writers and readers in the community at a Henrico County Public Library (HCPL). A unique feature of this program is that it operates as “self-serve.” The program allows local authors to sign-up and share their books during a 90-minute evening time slot at an area library. Authors can read, discuss their writing process, sell, sign, and promote their book. The program enables authors to donate a copy of their book to the library’s collection for checkout and to make an optional donation to the Friends of the Henrico County Public Library. The program is mutually beneficial to authors and libraries. The Henrico Community Author Showcase meets all three key points of the library’s mission via this program: promoting reading, connecting people with the information they need, and enriching community life.

Library Heritage Wall

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

HeritageWallAwardThe Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) opened its new Libbie Mill Area Library in October 2015. The Library wanted to tie in the rich history of the county with its new, modern building. Henrico County is over 400 years old and is rich with history that is unknown to most residents. The new library space provided an opportunity to bring light to this history. The Heritage Wall Interactive project was accomplished by a team consisting of members from HCPL, the Department of General Services, and architectural firms BCWH and Tappe, as well as the Department of Recreation and Parks, working to create the infrastructure and gather historical research. The team worked with Second Story, a firm specializing in experiential video installations, to create an immersive and engaging visual learning experience for patrons that they would not have anywhere else. The Heritage Wall is a museum-quality, visually stunning, and highly informative representation of Henrico County’s rich historical record, situated in an accessible location in a neighborhood library.

Library Nature Study

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

NatureStudyAwardThe Nature Study Series at Henrico County Public Library provides environmental education programs that begin in the library, and then explore surrounding outdoor natural areas. The Nature Study Series of programs began at the Libbie Mill Area Library in June 2016, as a partnership between Henrico County Public Libraries and Gumenick Properties, the developer of the placemaking complex that surrounds Libbie Mill Library. Each Nature Study Program blends literature, nature, science, storytelling, exercise, and outdoor adventure in a manner designed to inspire curiosity in Henrico County families and to show off the practical use of the library’s collection. These library programs are unique in their content and format and use the resources found inside and outside of the library. The program has expanded to include three additional libraries. Nature Study Programs are attended by entire families while reaching the intended audience of four- to twelve-year-olds. The Nature Study Series will be offered annually and will continue to expand its reach and scope of natural topics through development of additional programs and offering them at more library locations.

Literacy and Math Nights at the Library

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

LitMathNacoSince the spring of 2013, the children’s department of the Tuckahoe Area Library partnered with a nearby Title I elementary school, Ridge Elementary, to host Literacy Nights and Math Nights each year for students and their parents. Since many of the families live within walking distance of the library, attendance at these events has consistently been high. On average, 150 students and family members have attended each program. Before the programs, Children’s Librarians Sue Van Tassel and Kathleen Harris, attend meetings with the teachers at the school to plan activities for the night. On the night of the program, teachers volunteer to assist with the program, along with library staff. Literacy Night is held in the fall of each year and Math Night in the spring. The popularity of these programs has helped the school to meet its goal of getting more parent participation and the library to meet its goal of reaching out to members of its community.