The John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award


All submissions are due by August 1, 2020 at 5 pm CST.

The John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award is given to recognize outstanding contributions and prominent leadership by an individual in Bookmobile and Outreach Services.

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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.  John Philip worked for the Ohio State Library as head of Field Operation


This award honors his dedication and tireless work and serves as a pinnacle for all Bookmobile and Outreach staff to aspire to reach.


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

Criteria for Selecting Award Recipients

The John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award Committee will consider the following criteria in the selection of the recipient of this award.

·         Leadership role in the field – local, state, national, international. Readily recognized by name, visible in the Outreach Community, contributions well known, sought out for information and advice. (I.E. John Philip)

·         Behind the scenes service in the field – committee and/or other work that may not be visible to everyone but involved much work/time and benefited the Association or those in the field

·         Unique impact in the field – publications, special events, inventions, technological improvements, etc.

·         Longevity in Bookmobile and Outreach Service

·         Willingness to mentor others

·         Passion for their work

·         Knowledge, experience, expertise

2020 Applications for the John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award are now open!

Apply Here

All submissions are due by August 1, 2020 at 5 pm CST.


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