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CLA PR Excellence Awards
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About the award | Current award recipients

The PRExcellence Awards honor the highest quality efforts of California libraries in promoting and communicating their message to their customers. Libraries are encouraged to submit their best PR materials!

There are four PRExcellence Award entry categories: Print, Electronic, Event or Campaign, and Wildcard. Up to three awards are given within each of these categories: first place winners at each of three library budget levels: under $5M, $5M-$10M, and $10M and above. A Best in Show award is also given. PRExcellence award recipients are honored and showcased during the annual CLA conference.

Application information for the CLA PRExcellence Award

2019 Award Recipients

The PRExcellence Best in Show Award will be announced live at the CLA Awards Gala on Thursday, October 24, 2019. 

Best in Show
San Francisco Public Library for their project: All Hands Together: Honoring and Celebrating Diversity in Library Programming and Communications

Less than $5 million budget: Print
Escondido Public Library
Project:  Boos & Booze

Less than $5 million budget: Electronic
Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory
Project: Making a Million Dreams Come True

Less than $5 million budget: Event or Campaign
Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory
Project: 2018 Summer Reading Club

Less than $5 million budget: Wildcard
Glendora Public Library
Project: What does it mean to “Library?”

$5-10 million budget: Electronic
Anaheim Public Library
Project: Good Book, Great Burger, Awesome Combo

$5-10 million budget: Wildcard
Torrance Public Library
Project: The Entire City of Torrance Reads

$10 million + budget: Print
San Francisco Public Library
Project: All Hands Together: Honoring and Celebrating Diversity in Library 

$10 million + budget: Electronic
LA County Library
Project: Student Card Video: “Reading is Power!”

$10 million + budget: Event or Campaign TIE
LA County Library
Project: Rebranding LA County Library

$10 million + budget: Event or Campaign TIE
San Jose Public Library
Project: Coding5K Challenge

$10 million + budget: Wildcard
Santa Clara City Library
Project: Revitalized Bookmobile Karaoke


Award Information

Application period
The 2020-2021 awards application period is open until December 7, 2020.


  • California libraries and library participants, such as Friends and Foundations, are invited to participate in the PRExcellence Awards.
  • Groups and/or libraries applying for a PRExcellence Award must be CLA Institutional Members.  If unsure about library's institutional membership status, please contact the CLA Office no later than two weeks prior to the deadline.
  • Entries must have been created and used in 2019.

How to apply
Applicants should use the online application link below to submit the following to CLA:

  • Title of entry
  • Category of entry:

1. Print: submissions may include brochures, bookmarks, print newsletters, flyers, and posters, etc.

2. Electronic: submissions may include websites, videos, use of social media, and electronic newsletters, etc. Where possible, please print and provide a color print out of the main page and sample sub-pages.

3. Event or Campaign: the format may vary but all aspects of the entry must focus on a common event, theme, or goal, for example, a building campaign,  fundraising effort, or library opening, etc.

4. Wildcard: PR materials that don't fit into any of the other categories.

  • Size of organizational budget: (1) less than $5M, (2) $5M-$10M, (3) greater than $10M
  • A detailed project description. Please be sure to include the following: project goal, how the piece helped you achieved the goal, the intended audience, and how the success of the project was measured. (Not to exceed 500 words.)
  • Examples of the materials being submitted for the award. Please submit items by mail or include links to electronic materials in the application. If you need to submit digital files as email attachments please contact  Sharon Tani to make arrangements.

Entries will be assessed according to their visual appeal, relevance to the target audience, clarity of brand or identity, originality, creativity, and overall impression.

Print materials should be mailed to the CLA office in Pasadena. No more than five different pieces should be submitted in support of your application. Ten copies of each piece should be included in your mailing. The items will be distributed to PRExcellence Awards committee members. Please attach a printout of your completed application form to each copy or set of copies that you submit. Materials must be received at the CLA office by 5:00pm on the submission deadline. Postmarks will not be accepted. We cannot return entry materials. Please mail your materials to:

California Library Association (PRExcellence Awards)
1055 E. Colorado Blvd., 5th Floor
Pasadena, CA 91106

Further information

  • CLA's PRExcellence Awards are coordinated by CLA's Marketing and Public Relations Interest Group.
  • The CLA Marketing and Public Relations Interest Group reserves the right not to give an award if a qualified candidate is not found.
  • Applications and all supplementary materials must be received by 5:00pm on the submission deadline. Postmarks will not be accepted.
  • If you have questions, please contact Sharon Tani.

*Please note only applications received from current CLA Institutional Members will be considered.

2020 CLA PR
Excellence Awards Committee

  • Brandy Buenafe, California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation
  • Evan Carlson, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Diane Cowen, Santa Cruz Public Libraries
  • Chelsie Harris, San Diego County Library
  • Malissa Knapp, Solano County Library
  • Veronda Pitchford, Califa Group 
  • Karen Reitz, Santa Monica Public Library
  • Sharon Tani, Yolo County Public Library (Chair)

Application period will close on December 7, 2020