AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Municipal Library Directors Association named the Austin Public Library a recipient of its 2022 Achievement of Library Excellence Award, ranking it in the top 15% of statewide systems.

With 542 public library systems in Texas, APL was one of 73 awarded the recognition.

“I am grateful to all APL employees whose hard work helped our library system earn this distinction,” Austin Public Library Director Roosevelt Weeks said in a release. “I am also grateful to the TMLDA for this honor, but even more so, I am proud of the excellent service that we provide for our community that helped us earn this award.”

Library systems eligible for the award must “demonstrate excellence in each of ten categories”:

  • Providing outreach services and special programs to underserved populations
  • Using innovative marketing tools to highlight basic services about specific library programs
  • Working with other community organizations
  • Increase or change in the type of services offered to the public within the past year
  • Literacy support for residents of all ages, such as summer reading programs
  • Providing public internet access, digital literacy training and online library services
  • Support workforce development opportunities
  • Adult and family programming specialized in cultural, topical and educational areas
  • Professional staff training opportunities for all staff levels
  • Additional initiatives that “speak to library excellence”

In 2022, APL removed overdue fines for library materials, provided outreach efforts and services to people experiencing homelessness as well as created a calendar of workshops, classes and cultural events for all ages, per the release.