The John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award

The John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award is given to an individual in recognition of their outstanding contributions and prominent leadership to the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. John Philip, known to all as “Mr. Bookmobile”, spent his long and honorable career as an advocate of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. John Philip passed away on February 1, 2016.

John Philip is the “Father” of the National Bookmobile Conference which started in 1986 and has now evolved into the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. Through his strong leadership and high profile advocacy, bookmobiles have been recognized as a viable library outreach service.

This award honors his dedication and tireless work to Bookmobile and Outreach Services and serves as a pinnacle for all members of the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services to aspire to reach. This is the most prestigious award presented by ABOS.

The winner must be a current member of the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services.

Ohio State Library stated:

John retired from the State Library in 1995 after 25 years of dedicated bookmobile service and library system development. Often referred to as the “bookmobile guru,” John was both diligent and passionate in his work to support outreach services with bookmobiles. Nationally recognized for his work, he was featured in a 1994 Wall Street Journal article titled Bookmobiles Make a Comeback, Doing What Libraries Can’t: John Philip Champions Them on Tour in Amish Country; ‘The Book Stops Here’.[i] He believed bookmobiles were vital to reaching those that could not, or were not able to, go to traditional library settings. His affection for bookmobiles is evident in this quote:

“You walk into a bookmobile and there’s a smiling person who knows your name and what you like to read,” Mr. Philip says, “You can make noise and chat with neighbors. It’s intimate and informal, like shopping at a mom and pop store.” [Information source: State Library of Ohio (1969). Librarians Join State Library Staff. News from the State Library. 98, 23.]

This information was retrieved from https://library.ohio.gov/news/6231/

The nominator will need to answer the following questions:

  • describing the nominee's contributions to and leadership in the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. Please share positions held by the nominee in the association, a list of their involvement in committees, and examples of projects completed for the organization.
  • describing how the nominee has positively impacted the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services and how the nominee has brought the organization forward.
  • describing how the nominee emulates the spirit of John Philip, the "Father" of the National Bookmobile Conference.

A complete nomination will also include:

  • two (2) letters of recommendation.

Winner receives FREE conference registration to attend the 2021 ABOS Conference. 

One (1) John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award will be presented in 2021.

To submit your 2021 John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award nomination, please click HERE.

The 2021 ABOS Awards Program will open on April 1, 2021 and close on July 16, 2021 at 5 p.m. CST.

Questions about the 2021 ABOS Awards Program can be directed to David Kelsey, 2021 ABOS President and 2021 ABOS Awards Committee Chair, at awards@abos-outreach.com.

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