Desert Foothills Library nominated for prestigious national ‘Best Small Library In America’ Library Journal Award

December 9, 2009

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CAVE CREEK – The non-profit Desert Foothills Library (DFL) in Cave Creek was recently nominated for the prestigious “Best Small Library In America” Library Journal award.

Cosponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the annual award was founded to encourage and showcase exemplary library work. In its sixth year, the award honors the public library that demonstrates outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less.
The winning library will receive a $15,000 cash award. Two finalist libraries will also be recognized. Winners will be announced at the Public Library Association Bi-annual Conference in March, 2010.

DFL is the only 501(c) 3 non-profit public library in Maricopa County. It was established 1954 and incorporated as a non-profit in 1975.

The library sees nearly 200 new card holders each month, is open seven days a week and houses the Friends of the Library Used Book Store. They utilize more than 125 volunteers to staff numerous programs. The recently expanded 18,900 sq. ft. facility also acts as a community center, reports Kris Proskus-Bishop, librarian/director of the DFL.

“If we could convey to the awards committee how important our library is to the community, we could definitely win this award. Desert Foothills Library is by far in a class by itself.
Imagine a non-profit entity raising $3.9 million dollars for an addition that was completed last year. Now THAT is community support,” said Proskus-Bishop.

Award judges include the editorial board of Library Journal, librarians from around the country and a representative from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The winner will be determined based on key factors, including: Creativity in developing services and programs that can be replicated by other libraries; innovation in introducing and supporting public access computing; success in educating patrons in computer use, and measuring the results of technology usage; use of technology to expand the reach of library services; demonstrated community support; sustained cooperation with other libraries; partnerships with other agencies and businesses; increase in library use, and evidence of library's role as community center.

For more information, call 480-488-2286 or visit