Unique Management Announces Second Annual Award Winners

Unique Management Announces Second Annual Award Winners

Unique Library has awarded the second annual Defender of the Collection Award to eight libraries across the United States. The nationwide award recognizes libraries for outstanding commitment to their patrons and library materials.

Together, the eight winners from across the U.S. recovered a combined $2.6 million in overdue materials and brought more than 19,000 patrons back into good standing, all while providing outstanding service to their patrons and communities.

About the Award

Defender of the Collection

Unique Library created the Defender of the Collection Award to recognize libraries that have recovered a high volume of overdue materials in the past 36 months to defend public assets and ensure availability of useful and critical materials for all patrons.



Recovering materials is a vital function of any library to maintain their collection for their patrons, and Unique Library equips libraries large and small to unblock patrons and get materials back into circulation.

Winners were chosen by Unique’s team who partner with more than 1350 libraries across the country to effectively recover materials while preserving patron goodwill. Libraries were categorized by size, region and volume to determine the top-performing partners who made the biggest impacts on their communities.

“We created this award last year to recognize outstanding libraries in their region and size,” said Unique Library CEO Nicole Atkins “We congratulate the winning libraries for being a beacon in their community during a turbulent time, and for remaining committed to their patrons in the face of adversity.”

Libraries face a difficult road ahead – already underfunded and looking at further drops due to pandemic-related budget cuts and reliance on city and county use taxes impacted by COVID-19. Recovering lost or unreturned books is more important now than ever to maintain budgets, limit the cost of material replacement and protect taxpayer dollars. As libraries evolve to maintain their collections as philosophies shift about fines, keeping patrons in good standing and securing the timely return of materials is essential to ensure access and equity.

Winners were presented with their awards earlier this month and encouraged to share the news of this distinct honor with their patrons, staff, and communities. This is the second presentation of these awards, which Unique awards to honor its partners who are making a difference in communities across the U.S.

A full list of winners is available at uniquelibrary.com/2022-awards.

Unique awarded 8 libraries and recognized 32 total in this year’s awards across four geographic regions:

East Region


  • Large Library: Charleston County Public Library (SC)
  • Small Library: David A. Howe Public Library (NY) 

Midwest Region


  • Large Library: Columbus Metropolitan Library (OH)
  • Small Library: Avon Lake Public Library (OH)

South Region


  • Large Library: Jacksonville Public Library (FL)
  • Small Library: Austin Memorial Library (TX)

West Region


  • Large Library: Las Vegas-Clark County Library District (NV)
  • Small Library: Show Low Public Library (AZ)

Read more about Material Recovery with Unique Library.