In August 2023, WRL received a $7,500 grant from Sentara Health and a $13,000 grant from the Friends of WRL Foundation to bring culinary literacy classes to underserved areas in the community.
In April 2023, WRL’s outreach program, Saturdays @ Frink, received the Innovative Outreach Program award from the Virginia Public Library Directors Association (VPLDA). The recognition from VPLDA acknowledges the program’s significant impact on the community, providing access to library programming to families in the Grove area.
In January 2023, WRL was rated a Star Library for the 12th year by Library Journal. WRL is among only 4.8% of public libraries given a Star Library status.
In September 2022, the Friends of WRL Foundation received the 2022 Friends of the Library award from the Virginia Library Association. The award is given annually to a Friends group in recognition of distinguished service to libraries or a library in Virginia.
In January 2022, WRL was named Star Library for the 11th year by Library Journal. WRL is among only 4.7% of public libraries given a Star Library status.
In July 2021, WRL received a prestigious four star rating from Library Journal. Only three other Virginia libraries received a star rating in 2021, and only one of those received four stars.
In July 2021, WRL won the Virginia Library Association Innovator Award for the Mobile Library Services for Youth and Neighborhood’s response to providing reliable internet connection for the community through the mobile hotspot program.
In November 2020, WRL received a commendation from the Virginia General Assembly for “for the distinction of being named one of the top libraries in the nation by Library Journal.”
In August 2020, Mobile Library Services for Youth and Neighborhoods manager Eletha Davis was awarded the John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award by the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. The award recognizes Davis’s outstanding contributions and prominent leadership in Bookmobile and Outreach Services.
The July issue of American Libraries featured a discussion with WRL director Betsy Fowler as part of a panel discussion on library responses to the pandemic.
In May 2020, WRL’s mobile hotspot program was featured in stories in Library Journal and American Libraries.
In February of 2020, the national publication Library Journal rated Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL) as one of the best public libraries in the US, naming WRL as one of only two libraries in Virginia to receive star ratings. The Library Journal star ratings are earned by only 4% of the 6,333 public libraries measured nationwide. See press release for more information.
In April 2019, Janet Crowther, WRL assistant director, was given the Raymond Von Dran Award from the Library & Information Science Board of Alumni of Catholic University Of America. The award was given in recognition of Crowther’s contributions to the library and information science profession exhibiting the qualities of innovation, collaboration, and leadership.
At the 2019 annual Virginia Public Library Directors meeting, WRL was awarded an Outstanding Children’s Program Award for Cena con Cuentos (Dinner with Stories) which introduced Spanish-speaking families to the library, modeled early literacy activities, and helped to introduce families and build a sense of community.
In the spring of 2018, WRL won two awards at the annual Virginia Public Library Directors Association conference: Outstanding Public Relations Project for the ELGL Contest promotion and Outstanding Collaborative Program for the Profiles of Honor event that included a mobile museum, a National Archives exhibit, lectures, and programs.
In March of 2018, WRL was the runner-up in the Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) Best Public Library in the US contest.
In 2018, adult programming librarian Jesse Kelley received a $1,000 grant for the Revisiting the Founding Era program.
At the ALA 2017 annual conference, the Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation was awarded the United for Libraries’ Baker & Taylor Award for outstanding efforts to support the library in recognition of the Foundation’s 2015-16 capital campaign.
In 2017, the Virginia Public Library Directors Association (VPLDA) honored WRL with the “Outstanding Young Adult Program” award for its 2016 Teen Job Fair that offered over 100 local teens and their parents opportunities to meet potential employers, review resumes, and practice interviews.
In 2017, the Alpha Chapter Phi Beta Kappa at the College of William and Mary gave its “Lifelong Learner Award” to the Williamsburg Regional Library. The award is given to honor a community member or organization that demonstrates commitment to the pursuit of knowledge.
In 2016, Barry Trott, Special Projects Director, was awarded the Raymond Von Dran Award from the Library & Information Science Board of Alumni of Catholic University Of America. The award was given in recognition of Trott’s contributions to the library and information science profession, that have exhibited the qualities of innovation, collaboration, and leadership.
In 2015, a national ranking of public libraries has once again named Williamsburg Regional Library a star. For the eighth consecutive year, the national publication Library Journal has rated Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL) as one of the best public libraries in the U.S., naming WRL as one of only three libraries in Virginia to receive star ratings. The Library Journal star ratings are earned by only 3% of the 7,663 public libraries measured nationwide.
In 2014, for the seventh consecutive time, the national publication Library Journal has rated Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL) as one of the best public libraries in the U.S., naming WRL as one of only four star-rated libraries in Virginia. The Library Journalstar ratings are earned by only 3% of the 7,586 public libraries measured nationwide.
In 2012, for the fifth consecutive time, the national publication Library Journal rated WRL as one of the best public libraries in the U.S. by giving it four-stars, the only four-star rated library in Virginia. WRL is one of 111 public libraries nationwide, out of more than 7,500 measured, that have received a star rating for all five editions of the publication.
WRL received an award for “Outstanding Program for Seniors” at the 2012 annual meeting of the Virginia Public Library Directors’ Association. “Short Takes” is a monthly programming series designed specifically for audiences in adult care centers. “Short Takes” is a multisensory program, lasting fifteen to twenty minutes. These talks are designed to enrich library users’ lives through learning, conversation, and the sharing of memories. Past topics include Ragtime, big band music, country music legend as, Bob Hope and the USO, timeless toys, colonial dancing, the county fair, and the Royal Wedding.
In 2011, the library received a four-star rating from Library Journal. WRL is one of only eighty-seven four-star libraries in the country, and one of only two four-star libraries in Virginia.
WRL received two awards for its programs at the 2011 annual meeting of the Virginia Public Library Directors’ Association. “Constitutional Conversations,” a monthly discussion series encouraging dialog about key aspects of our nation’s founding document, was honored in the category of Cooperative Programs with Other Libraries or Agencies serving a population of 50,000 – 99,999. “Constitutional Conversation,” was jointly sponsored by WRL, the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at the College of William and Mary Law School and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Law students at the College of William and Mary developed the program and also led and moderated each of the monthly sessions, which were tailored to different age groups. The library was also recognized with the Outstanding Young Adult Program for “A Shivery Night That Lingers,” activities surrounding a visit by N.Y. Times best-selling author Maggie Stiefvater. The events attracted about 200 people from as far away as southwestern Virginia and Philadelphia, making it one of the most successful teen programs the Williamsburg Regional Library has ever hosted.
The Library received two awards at the 2010 annual meeting of Virginia Public Library Directors Association. “Looking for a Good Book – Readers’ Advisory Circulating Collection” received the Outstanding Adult Program Award in our population category and “Outreach Speakers Bureau Service” received the Outstanding Program for Seniors Award. Congratulations to all who are a part of these excellent programs!
Between 2008-2010, the library received a five-star rating from Library Journal – a national library publication. It was one of only eighty-five public libraries nation-wide to receive this recognition.