Guidelines and Application


The Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation recognize public libraries creating innovative community-based programs, which encourage citizens to participate and support reading initiatives that connect libraries with their community.  School libraries serving the capacity of public libraries are also welcome to submit an application adhering to the same criteria below.


CRITERIA (must excel at some of the following)

  • Successful partnerships with public schools, local businesses, museums, recreation departments and other community learning resources that support learning and reading programs in the U.S.

  • Strong focus on working with their local community on early childhood and pre-kindergarten learning from low-income families.

  • Engagement of young adults in learning through use of digital media, mentors, or local community and civic organizations,including schools.

  • Evidence of successful outcomes.

  • Strong focus advancing literacy through adult programming.


  • Complete the Application Form.
  • Attach detailed project description, budget, timeline, high-res photos and measurement of successful outcomes.
  • Attach two letters of support from leadership in your local community.
  • Include a one-page description of library, the community in which it serves and number of paid and/or unpaid staff.
  • Submit electronically by May 1st, 2018.


  • An evaluation committee of selected Penguin Random House executives and librarians will review all applications and determine the final grant awards recipients.

  • Winners will be notified by May 31, 2018 and announced at the American Library Association Annual Meeting in June of 2018. Official winners’ announcement and press release will be available at


  • One $10,000 grant award for the chosen library made payable directly for library use.
  • Four runner-up $1,000 grant awards for selected libraries made payable directly for library use.
  • All award recipient libraries will receive $1,000 in Penguin Random House books.
  • Transportation, lodging and conference registration for one representative from the $10,000 winner to attend the American Libraries Association 2018 Annual Meeting.

  • Multi-media coverage of the winning libraries and librarians via the Penguin Random House website, press releases and newsletters.
For the complete guidelines and application form download the PDF version