From 116 nominations, the pool of best libraries in the nation has finally been whittled down to … 8.

The C. Burr Artz Public Library in Frederick, MD, needs your help! In the Elite 8 bracket for the Leslie Knope Award for Best Public Library, the Frederick library faces the Baytown, Texas, Public Library.

Voting for this round of the competition has already started and will last until Friday night, Feb. 16. The Final Four picks will be announced over the weekend, with voting taking place next week, Feb. 19–23. National Championship voting between the final two contenders will occur Feb. 26–Mar. 2.


Courtesy of ELGL

Frederick beat out a library in Cedar Rapids, IA, last week, via a six percent margin. A win might be more difficult this week since Baytown supporters averaged roughly 1800 more voters than Frederick had. So, vote, vote, vote!

Named after the lovable Leslie Knope character in the hit NBC sit-com “Parks and Rec,” the Leslie Barbara Knope Award is presented by the Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) organization. Last year, the award honored the best city hall, but this year they’ve turned their attention to best public libraries.

The title of the award is ironic because while the “Parks and Rec” character was extremely enthusiastic about city government, she was not particularly fond of libraries. In fact, she despised them.

We, however, love the library! Sure, we’re a bit of a “bookish” crowd over here at OCN, but as an institution, the library is an amazing resource for life. Hence, we urge you to vote for Frederick! #MarylandPride

“From the historic to modern, functional to quaint, and urban to rural – we want to see them all! How will we know which library building is number one? We don’t, that’s why we’re asking you,” ELGL says on their website.

Other towns with libraries in the Elite 8 include Williamsburg, VA, Chapel Hill, NC, Pueblo, CO, State College, PA, Lewisville, TX, and Lawrence, KS.

Have you been to the C. Burr Artz Public Library? Do you think it deserves this award? Tell us in the comments below!

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