Best Practices in Early Literacy Award Application Now Open!


The New Jersey State Library is accepting applications for the 2020 Best Practices in Early Literacy Award. The award honors up to four outstanding public libraries that provide exemplary literacy programs for children from birth to six years, their families and caregivers.

In 2019, the State Library awarded the Best Practices in Early Literacy Award to three libraries in New Jersey based on the exemplary literacy programs they provided for children, their families and caregivers. Burlington County Library developed an ABC STEAM program as a way to introduce the alphabet and early literacy to children. The Old Bridge Public Library created a Sensory Play, Sensory Surprise program offering kids the chance to improve social play and develop their fine motor skills as they investigate and explore sensory stations. Lastly, the Stafford Branch of the Ocean County Library created Ready, Set, Read  to help recreate the spark between the library and preschool (ages 3-5) children by incorporating Every Child Ready to Read practices and S.T.E.A.M. activities. These programs have reinvented early literacy within their libraries and stimulated new innovations and ideas about how to better assist and teach developing children.

The award provides a $1,000 honorarium, a certificate, and promotion of the winning library as a model program for other libraries. The winning libraries will be honored during the State Librarian’s Breakfast at the 2020 NJLA Conference at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.

To apply, please review the award guidelines and then complete and submit the application.

The deadline to apply is March 6, 2020. 

Note: Applicants from last year that didn’t win can reapply with the same program as long as it was held within the past two years. Libraries who have previously won twice are not eligible to apply. Please contact Sharon Rawlins, NJSL Youth Services Specialist at or 609-278-2640 ext. 116 if you have any questions.