The prize will be for an initiative by a library that demonstrates the power of reading, leading to more borrowing, reading and discussion of books. It should also encourage community support and volunteers in the libraries.
In considering submissions, the judges will particularly welcome initiatives that resulted in more reading by children and older readers. The panel of judges will consider submissions in order to select a short list of up to four libraries. They will visit them before determining the winner. In considering submissions, the judges will take into account the relative size of the library and the role of volunteers and community support.
The first prize will be £5,000 for the winning library, with £1,000 for each of the runners-up.
The prize money will be for libraries to use at their discretion for reading related purposes.
A major feature of the scheme will be an award event at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, to give public recognition to the value of libraries and their volunteer support. The event will include staff and volunteers from the prize-winning libraries.
The first award will be in October 2017.
The Chairman of the Trust, Jonathan Taylor CBE, former chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation commented: “I am confident that this initiative will demonstrate and reinforce the continuing vitality and relevance of the county’s libraries and the importance of reading. With success in Gloucestershire this is a project that could be extended more widely.”