On April 23 we learned that our Library is receiving a National Medal for Library Service from the Institute for Museum and Library Service (IMLS). What a thrill and a true honor for our Library to receive this national recognition. Medal winners were selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach.
The National Medal will be presented during a celebration in Washington, D.C. on May 8. I will be attending the ceremony along with Amina Tuki, a Library customer selected by IMLS to attend; Deputy Director, Greg Edwards; and Board President, William J. Moran. Amina uses the Library’s Adult Learning Center to work on reading and writing English and computer skills. In the afternoons her daughter Hannah uses Homework Central. Amina attributes the Library with her success in completing an online job application and her daughter’s excellent grades. Winners receive the national recognition for community impact, a $5,000 prize and a visit from StoryCorps – a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans – to document stories from the communities of the winning institutions.
In our nomination, we highlighted several of our services that we feel are the best examples of our community impact. These include our homework central, brain camps, Kindergarten readiness programs, summer reading and programs to improve grade level reading. We also emphasized programs for adult learners like Amina. Additionally, we included data about the incredible use our Library experiences in all aspects of services; items borrowed, programs offered and attendance, reference questions, library visits and computer use. Finally, we talked about the incredible support our community has for our Library including the overwhelming support for our tax levy approved in 2009. Without this funding our services would have been significantly reduced; a fact we never forget.
To celebrate this national recognition of our service to the community, we’re planning a special event. On May 15 we will hold a fine amnesty day. Fines will be forgiven for overdue items returned on this day. We will also be forgiving fines for anyone who visits a Library location on May 15.
This event is just one small way to thank our community for the use and support that resulted in this national recognition. Without our supportive community and wonderful staff our Library would not be the tremendous community asset it is. This award belongs to all of us. Thank you.