FLLS Annual Awards

Each year the Finger Lakes Library System Board of Trustees pays tribute to individuals in our member libraries and communities who have delivered outstanding service to libraries.  We believe that member library trustees and staff members are eminently qualified to identify those people who have made significant contributions to improved library service in their library, community or region.  So, we invite nominations from you for the four awards presented by the Finger Lakes Library System at our annual meeting.  These awards are:

  • Trustee of the Year Award
  • Director of the Year Award
  • Ruth Polson Distinguished Service Award
  • Joan Cooke Youth Services Award

Eligibility:  Nominations will be accepted from all Finger Lakes Library System member library Trustees and staff, for candidates who meet the award criteria.   Nomination of previous candidates who were not selected to receive an award will be considered.  With the exception of the Ruth Polson Distinguished Service Award, all achievements must have taken place within the previous two years.

Nomination process:  Below this memo you will find information about each award and the qualities we look for in Award nominees.  Either a library trustee or director must submit each nomination.  Paper nomination forms, available upon request, may be sent to Diana Leigh, Administrative Assistant, or nominations may be sent electronically via e-mail to dleigh@flls.org. Each nomination must include the name and position of the person making the nomination, their library affiliation, the name of the nominee, the award for which the person is being nominated, and a short paragraph explaining why they should be given the award.

Announcement of Awards:  are made at the Finger Lakes Library System Annual Meeting in October.


DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD is given to a member library director for significant achievement in providing improved library service to their community or region.  Activities that qualify might include but are not  limited to the following:

  • Initiating new programs and services
  • Improving/expanding the collection
  • Increasing hours open
  • Providing leadership to fellow library directors for quality library service

TRUSTEE OF THE YEAR AWARD is given to a trustee of a member library for significant contribution to the improvement or development of library service in their community. Achievements should exceed normal expectations of trustees.  Activities that qualify might include but are not limited to the following:

  • Acting as an advocate for the library with community leaders and governments
  • Successfully managing a building construction that results in an improved library facility
  • Successfully executing a fundraising campaign that results in significant increase in library funds
  • Working closely with the library director to expand and improve library programs and services

RUTH POLSON DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD is given to someone who makes a significant contribution to the betterment of library service in the region; or to someone who, over time, makes a significant contribution to their local library.  Activities that qualify might include but are not limited to the following:

  • Acting as an advocate for a library or libraries in the community with beneficial results such as increased funding, or a new facility
  • Making significant contributions to an individual or group of libraries in the form of financial donations or in-kind services
  • Assist an individual or group of libraries to significantly expand or improve their facility, programs or services

JOAN COOKE YOUTH SERVICES AWARD is given to a member library employee, volunteer, or trustee for excellence in the delivery of children’s services in their community.  Activities that qualify might include but are not limited to the following:

  • Improving the children’s and/or young adult section of the library facility
  • Developing or expanding programs library offered for the community’s young people
  • Expanding or improving the library’s collection of materials for young people
  • Working with other youth oriented groups or agencies in the community to improve services to young people

OUTREACH AWARD is given by the Coordinated Outreach Services Advisory Council (COSAC), in recognition of outstanding service to under served groups and people with special needs. Please visit the Outreach Services page for more details.