In a celebration of community engagement and literary excellence, the Yonkers Public Library (YPL) has been awarded the 2023 Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award for its outstanding Summer Reading Buddies program.
The Joseph F. Shubert Excellence Award is an annual accolade bestowed upon libraries in New York State that exhibit exceptional achievements. This year, YPL’s Summer Reading Buddies program received the honor in a unanimously vote by the Shubert Award Committee.
Launched in 2004, the Summer Reading Buddies program focuses on intergenerational reading and mentorship. Held at YPL’s Riverfront Library in downtown Yonkers, the program trains volunteer mentors in best practices for reading with new readers. Many of the mentors are older adults, and many of students are first-generation English speakers. Furthermore, the impact of Summer Reading Buddies now extends beyond literacy. The program presently provides wraparound services for families, including nutritional support, parenting workshops, and intergenerational mentorship. In 2023, the Summer Reading Buddies hosted 110 mentors, 397 students, and distributed 6,228 meals to families in need.
The New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries presented the award on Nov. for this program. They recognized the YPL’s exceptional efforts in fostering intergenerational mentorship and community support. Grace Riario, Chair of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, offered her praise.
Yonkers Public Library is a great example of using resources within the community to meet a need in the community the library serves.Grace Riario – Chair of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries
Jesse Montero, YPL Library Director, expressed gratitude for the award. He also shared credit with their partner, the Family Service Society of Yonkers. Nancy Maron, Library Board President, praised the program for encouraging “reading, connection, and fun in our community.” And Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said, “Congratulations to Yonkers Public Library for this outstanding achievement, recognizing YPL’s continuous efforts in making our libraries a place of learning, both educationally and emotionally.”
As the 2023 Shubert Award winner, YPL will receive $1,000 in recognition of their commitment educational enrichment.