FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southern Adirondack Library System Honored with 2019 Shubert Library Excellence Award
The New York State Library and the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries has awarded the Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS) with the 2019 Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award for its Fresh Food Collective Farm-2-Library Distribution program. The Shubert Excellence Award is given annually to recognize the achievements of libraries and library consortia in New York that have taken significant steps to improve the quality of service to users.
“The Southern Adirondack Library System’s Fresh Food Collective program benefits families and children throughout the system’s communities,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “Its successful program serves as a model across the state and nation and is a shining example of how smart collaborations can go a long way to address the inequities faced by students and families.”
“This unique program exemplifies the power of collaboration and partnership,” said Interim State Education Commissioner Beth Berlin. “The Southern Adirondack Library System worked with local partners to address food scarcity in the community, provide fresh produce to people who need it, and begin building relationships with new patrons and library users. We congratulate the library system and its partners on this inspiring initiative.”
“Congratulations to the Southern Adirondack Library System on successfully implementing a program that has tremendous positive impact on the small, rural communities in the North Country,” said State Librarian Lauren Moore. “It is a great honor to join the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries to honor the library system with the Shubert Excellence Award.”
The Southern Adirondack Library System, which serves Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties, launched the Fresh Food Collective program in 2018 to address the food scarcity challenges faced by small, rural communities in its region. Although food pantries exist in each community, reliance on volunteers means that access to food is limited to a couple hours per week. The library system collaborated with other community stakeholders, including Comfort Food Community and Glens Falls Hospital, to provide fresh, local produce to community members that may not otherwise have access to it and reduce food waste at local farms. Many of the communities served by this program exceed the average national poverty rate. Using public libraries as food distribution points, the library system eliminated accessibility obstacles while encouraging people who may not currently use library services to visit the library and explore other programs and resources.
As the recipient of the Shubert Excellence Award, the Southern Adirondack Library System received $1,000, donated by the Friends of the New York State Library, and a plaque. The award will be presented at the New York Library Association Conference in Saratoga Springs.
The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries is a 15-member group representing the interests of libraries of all types – public, school, academic and special – as well as New York’s 72 library systems. The Council advises the State Library and the Board of Regents on library policy and makes recommendations for implementing library programs and initiatives.
The New York State Library is a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located at 222 Madison Avenue in Albany, the Library is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on legal holidays. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5355 or visiting the Library’s website.
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