It’s a huge honor for a small library. As time Warner cable News reporter Candace Dunkley reports, one of the best libraries in America is right in Dutchess County. 

RED HOOK, N.Y. -- The Red Hook Public Library is a staple in the community and a special place for Carol Goss, who has been going there for decades.

“It’s evolved over the years; it’s become more and more and more a center for the community.  People come in here looking for all kinds of things, help in lots of different ways.”

And Goss isn’t the only person who appreciates the Red Hook Public Library. It has been named the First Finalist for the 2015 Best Small Library in America Award.  It is given by the Library Journal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I think it’s well deserved. I think our director and our staff move mountains,” said Red Hook Library Board trustee Maryelisa Blundell.

The award recognizes libraries who serve less than 25,000 people in innovative ways. In 2014 the library had more than 500 programs and more than 11,000 people attended. The library is able to put on a variety of programs by working with organizations in the community.

“The library is the heart of the entire town and it’s a natural collaboration for all of the small organizations to join in,” said Kimberley McGrath of the Red Hook Area Chamber of Commerce.

Being one of the best small libraries isn’t just an honor; it also comes with a big cash prize of $10,000.

“And we’re looking at creating new tech opportunities, and specially looking at maker space things, possibly a 3D printer,” said Red Hook Public Library director Erica Freudenberger. 

They are just ideas for improvements to make to a library that Carol Goss already loves.

“I think it’s just a wonderful community resource.”