Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement

The Jones Library is proud to announce that the Fourth Annual Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement will honor Cammie McGovern, author and founder of Whole Children, and Arthur Kinney, founding director of the University of Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, for their literary contributions. The gala event, the "Sammys", will take place on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.

GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

For more information about this event, please read the press release.

2017 Recipients


Cammie McGovern - Photo by Ellen Auergarten

Cammie McGovern


Award for Local Literary Achievement

Arthur Kinney - Photograph by Don David

Arthur Kinney,

UMass Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies


Award for Significant Contribution to Amherst's Literary Culture


Get Your Tickets!
PLEASE NOTE: The first 100 orders of one or more tickets will receive an autographed print (pictured below) by artist Robert Masla!

Tickets are available at four levels: $60, $100, $150, or $200. All proceeds from this event will be used to support library collections, with materials for all ages and formats. See Ticket Levels (at right) for examples of how each level could impact our collections.

Please choose a ticket level:

When you purchase tickets online, you will be added to our guest list. When you arrive at the Mead Art Museum, please check in at our welcome desk. (This year, no physical tickets will be printed.) See Information for Sammys Ticketholders for details.

Ticket Levels


The following are examples of how each ticket level could impact our collections

Each $200 ticket:
  • helps buy another e-reader for patrons to borrow – OR –
  • buys 5 large print books – OR –
  • buys National Geographic and The Atlantic for our Zinio collection
Each $150 ticket:


  • buys 6 bestselling novels – OR –
  • buys 2 books on Playaway (digital media player) – OR –
  • buys the Sunday New York Times for 6 months
Each $100 ticket:


  • buys 5 children's picture books – OR –
  • buys a weekly newsletter for ESL students for 3 months – OR –
  • buys two unabridged books-on-CD
Each $60 ticket:


  • buys 3 feature films on DVD – OR –
  • helps buy an ebook – OR –
  • buys 4 books for the Young Adult collection
You may purchase tickets in person by visiting the Jones Library office during its normal weekday hours.

You may also purchase tickets by mail. Orders should be received no later than Tuesday, April 25. Please mail your check (payable to Jones Library, Inc.) to the following address, and please indicate the number of tickets you wish to purchase.

Jones Library
Attn: Sammys Ticket Orders
43 Amity Street
Amherst, MA 01002

When you purchase tickets in the office or by mail, you will be added to our guest list. When you arrive at the Mead Art Museum, please check in at our welcome desk. (This year, no physical tickets will be printed.) Please call us at 413-259-3090 to confirm that we've received your order, or if you have questions.

See Information for Sammys Ticketholders for further information.

Press Release



Jones Library Announces 2017 Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement



The Jones Library proudly announces Cammie McGovern and Arthur Kinney as winners of the Fourth Annual Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement. A gala event, the Sammys, will take place on May 2, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at the Mead Art Museum on the Amherst College Campus to recognize and celebrate the award winners.

The Sammys is Amherst's signature event honoring the community's remarkable and vibrant literary heritage. The evening will feature a lively awards presentation, food, drink, and live music. Past events have been hugely successful, with more than 200 community members gathering each year to honor Polly Longsworth and Aaron Lansky in 2016, Julius Lester and Pat & Peter Schneider in 2015, and Norton Juster and Amherst Books in 2014.

This year, the Sammy for local literary achievement will be presented to Cammie McGovern. McGovern is beloved by children, parents, teachers, and librarians as a writer of distinguished children’s and young adult novels about young people with disabilities. Her books give starring roles to too-often overlooked children, and make them less mysterious and intimidating to their peers. McGovern’s newest children’s novel, Chester and Gus, will be published April 4, 2017. She is also the author of three novels for adults. In addition to her writing, McGovern was closely involved in the creation of Whole Children/Milestones, a nonprofit organization for Pioneer Valley children with special needs, which serves over 600 children.

The Sammy for significant contribution to Amherst's literary culture will be presented to Arthur Kinney. Kinney is the founding director of the University of Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, a distinguished academic center and highly prized Amherst institution that offers concerts, a Renaissance fair, and gardens for the public to enjoy. He is the author and editor of 38 books on topics such as Shakespeare, Renaissance history and culture, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Dorothy Parker. Kinney is the only person who has received both the Paul Oskar Kristeller Lifetime Achievement Award from the Renaissance Society of America and the Jean Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sidney Society. Locally, he has chaired the University of Massachusetts Press committee, twice been the President of the Amherst Club, and twice been President of the Amherst Historical Society. Kinney is also Paul Harris Fellow of the Amherst Rotary.

Continuing a Sammys tradition, a local artist has created a unique image for the occasion. This year’s artist, Robert Masla, is known for his landscape paintings, and his art expresses the spiritual reality within the material elements of everyday life. Masla’s painting for this year’s Sammys is unique and teeming with energy. Signed prints of the painting, on display now at R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, will be given to the first 100 orders of one or more tickets.

About the Jones Library


The Jones Library's mission is to serve and inspire people of all ages by providing multicultural resources for lifelong learning. An Amherst treasure, the Jones Library contributes to the educational and cultural landscape of the area. The Library provides adult, family, and children's programs to the public, as well as heavily used community meeting rooms. The availability of resources to all, partnerships with area organizations, and numerous community events ensure that the Library receives more than 250,000 visits every year.

About the Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement


The Sammys are named for Samuel Minot Jones, the Library's first benefactor and namesake, who contributed the initial funding for the endowment that continues to provide a portion of the Library budget annually.

All proceeds from the awards ceremony will be used to support Library collections, purchasing materials in all formats and for all ages. Budget constraints this year mean that philanthropic dollars are critical for buying the Library materials on which our community depends.

Sammys tickets are available and can be purchased at the Jones Library or online at www.joneslibrary.org/sammys. Tickets will be offered at $60, $100, $150 and $200, allowing people to choose their level of support for the Library’s collections.

For information on sponsoring this event or to volunteer, please contact Sharon Sharry at sharrys@joneslibrary.org.

2016 Recipients


View photos and video of the 2016 Sammy Awards Gala
Polly Longsworth
Aaron Lanksy

Polly Longsworth


Award for Local Literary Achievement

Aaron Lansky, Yiddish Book Center


Award for Significant Contribution to Amherst's Literary Culture


2015 Recipients
View photos and video of the 2015 Sammy Awards Gala
Julius Lester
Julius Lester
Award for Local Literary Achievement

Pat and Peter Schneider
Pat and Peter Schneider, Amherst Writers & Artists
Award for Significant Contribution to Amherst's Literary Culture


2014 Recipients
View photos and video of the 2015 Sammy Awards Gala
Norton Juster
Norton Juster
Award for Local Literary Achievement

Amherst Books
Amherst Books
Award for Significant Contribution to Amherst's Literary Culture


About the Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement


The Sammys are named for Samuel Minot Jones, the Library's first benefactor and namesake, who contributed the initial funding for the endowment that continues to provide a portion of the Library budget annually. All proceeds from the awards ceremony will be used to support library collections, with materials for all ages and formats.

For information on sponsoring this event or to volunteer, please contact Sharon Sharry at sharrys@joneslibrary.org.