The Great Librarian Write-Out 2016

10562935_497232200421211_926722563564474730_nEveryLibrary is excited to announce to the 4th round of the Great Library Write-Out. This near yearly competition encourages librarians to get out of the echo-chamber and put their writing skills to good use in non-library publications for a chance to win a $250 cash prize. If you’re familiar with previous year’s write-outs (2014/15, 2013, 2012), you’ll notice that we’ll have a couple of changes in this round. While previous years were seed funded with a $250 contribution by PC Sweeney this year it will be entirely an EveryLibrary sponsored competition and we are encouraging others to donate specifically to increase the prize award through our Action Platform. Once again we will allow submissions to online sources and anyone who adds $100 to the award will get to vote on the articles that were submitted. The judging will be based on the popularity of the print/web publication, the quality of the article and writing, the depth of the information, and how well it addresses the question: “Why are libraries so important?” It will be judged by the board members of EveryLibrary and anyone who contributes $100 to the prize at ALA Midwinter 2017. You have a year to write, but don’t wait! The more articles that we get out, the better!


This competition was created as a way to encourage librarians to get out of the echo-chamber of librarianship and tell the people about the ways that libraries intersect their lives. We understand that there are thousands of amazing writers in our profession who write their own blogs and write for our professional magazines and journals, but rarely (or never) do we see an article written for the public about how libraries help society in some great way. We don’t think there has ever been a time when such articles should be appearing in the midst of the news of library closures, resource cutting, and layoffs. It’s time that we got the word out about libraries to as many people as possible!


Libraries are providing so many new and innovative programs, collections, and services that there are a very wide range of topics that you can write about and many places that you can submit your articles. For example, you can write about an amazing program that your library did in your community and submit to BoingBoing. Or, you can write about using the library as a source for information on market research for startups and submit it to Entrepreneur Magazine. You can even write in to your local newspaper about why the library is important to you and have a chance to win like our first year’s winner. It’s just important that we get as many of our stories out to our communities as we can.


1) You must be in the library profession in some fashion by working in a library related field or be a student in a library related field. However, if you feel you qualify for any other reason, just let us know and we’ll consider you in the running.

2) If you submit to an online source, the traffic data must be available online. You can use this tool to check if your site qualifies.

3) It must be a pro-library article speaking positively about the benefits of libraries in some aspect of society and addressing the question: Why do we still need libraries?

4) The article must be printed between August 1st 2014, and the first day of the ALA Annual Conference on June 25th, 2015

5) It must be published in a non-library related magazine or journal with a national (United States) or international circulation or a widely read non-library website. More points will be given to an article in a magazine/website with the largest circulation or number of hits, and you will receive bonus points for a feature article.


You must submit your article to our google form for consideration by January 20th, 2017. You can find the google form here.


We highly encourage you to join the discussion with fellow librarians and library advocates on our Facebook Event Page!


If you’d like to read some of the articles from the previous winners, here they are!

2012 Winner – Vikram Kanth

2013 Winner – Anne Marie Madziak

2015 – Courtney Young

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