Medal finalists are selected from nationwide nominations of
institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service,
exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. This year’s finalists
exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include an
aquarium, conservatory and botanical gardens, a university library, individual
libraries, children’s museums, art museums, science centers, and more, hailing
from across the country. Athens-Clarke County Library is the only Georgia
institution on the list.
“This is such an honor. We are extremely proud to be included among the finalists for the National Medal,” said Athens-Clarke County Library Director Kathryn Ames. “We have a talented and creative staff who work hard every day to make the library a warm and welcoming environment, and we are absolutely thrilled with the community support we receive from our users.”
Local children’s author Gail Karwoski nominated the Library for the National Medal, citing innovative programs, such as the library’s current IMLS-funded program designed to use technology to foster life-long learning for adults, “Reflecting, Sharing, Learning.” Other programs that make the Library stand out include special programs for children and teens, adult programs such as the Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys reading and discussion series, funded by a National Endowment for Humanities grant in cooperation with the American Library Association; and the Pinewoods Biblioteca, the library’s Spanish language branch, which started in 2005 with a grant from IMLS.
Ames pointed out that the library relies strongly on community partnerships to make programs possible, including the Friends of Athens-Clarke County, Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, Lyndon House Arts Center, local businesses and many more.
IMLS, along with Athens-Clarke County Library, encourages community members who have visited the Athens-Clarke County Library to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page, www.facebook.com/USIMLS. Visit the IMLS Facebook page to learn more about how these institutions make an impact.
Celebrating 20 Years
This year, IMLS celebrates the 20th anniversary of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. For the past two decades, the National Medal has honored outstanding institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Including 2013 winners, 132 institutions have received this honor. Ten of this year’s 30finalists will be announced as honorees later this spring.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov.
The Athens-Clarke County Library serves as headquarters of the Athens Regional Library System. The library is located at 2025 Baxter Street, Athens. For information about library services and programming, call (706) 613-3650 or visit www.athenslibrary.org/athens.