The Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community is awarded to a librarian, library staff member, library, library board, or library friends group who has designed programs and/or initiatives responsive to the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

This year’s award is being given to the Gulfport Public Library in honor of their amazing and extensive programming, resources, outreach and partnerships they have with the LGBTQIA community.

GLBT Round Table (GLBTRT) Awards will be presented by the American Library Association (ALA) at the Annual Conference in June, at which time the Gulfport Library will be presented with a $1,000 check.

According ing to the ALA website, nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Innovation: evidence of the quality, creativity, relevance, and effectiveness of the program or initiative developed by nominee including revisions made to improve success
  • Impact: evidence of impact on GLBT community, additionally demonstration of community partnerships and coalitions, and/or successful outreach
  • Sustainability: evidence of a program and/or initiative’s success over a period of time, demonstration of institutional support for program and/or initiative
  • Advocacy: evidence of leadership in advocacy (service appointments, other awards, etc.) and visibility and awareness of efforts at institutional, local, regional and national level

According to the Gulfport Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center webpage, “The purpose of the Resource Center is to not only provide a welcoming communal space to the large LGBTQ population of Gulfport and Pinellas County, it also establishes a sense of awareness and advocacy for a segment of the Gulfport community that is ingrained in the very fabric of the community; it’s history, unique sensibility, and accepting creative spirit. The LGBTQ Resource Center is a project of the non-profit Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Public Library.”