WRL comes up short in library championship finals


In the final showdown for the title of best public library in the nation, Williamsburg Regional Library lost out to its opponent in Pueblo, Colorado.

The two libraries faced off in the championship round of the Engaging Local Government Leaders contest for the Leslie B. Knope Award. Voting ended Sunday.

“We took the silver, but not gold,” Williamsburg Regional Library Director Betsy Fowler said.

While defeated, Fowler praised the community’s support during the contest, saying the library received 31,000 votes during the course of the multi-week contest.

“We did really well,” Fowler said. “The community just poured out support.”

Engaging Local Government Leaders is a national association focused on supporting individuals working within local government. The organization created the contest to engage communities and draw attention to public libraries. The award’s name is a reference to the main character in “Parks and Recreation,” a television sitcom about local government employees.

The competition relied on library users submitting their library of choice for the contest. Weekly polls narrowed the field from a pool of more than 100 libraries in an NCAA-style tournament.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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