UPDATE: Long Beach Public Library Selected as Nation’s Best for Service

The Long Beach Public Library was selected by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as a recipient of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Services, officials announced Monday.

The award, the nation’s highest honor for libraries and museums, recognizes institutions for their commitment to servicing the local community.

This year’s winners “demonstrate impactful programs and services that exceed the expected levels of community outreach and are known as catalysts for community change,” IMLS officials said in a statement.

The Long Beach Public Library was one of 10 recipients for the 2017 award, selected from a group of 30 finalists nominated in March.

“We are proud to honor these 10 institutions with this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the IMLS, said in a statement. “These institutions play a critical role as community catalysts and provide vital resources that drive economic development, foster community well-being, and spark neighborhood revitalization. We are proud of all 10 museums and libraries and celebrate their ongoing commitment to their communities.”

The other nine winners are:

  • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (Alaska State Museums) (Juneau, Ala.)
  • Aspen Art Museum (Aspen, Colo.)
  • Cedar Rapids Public Library (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (Skokie, Il.)
  • Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum (Wausau, Wis.)
  • Peralta Hacienda Historical Park (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Richland Library (Columbia, S.C.)
  • University of Minnesota Libraries (Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • Waterville Public Library (Waterville, Maine)

Awards will be presented to the winners at an event this summer in Washington D.C. Following the ceremony, StoryCorps, a nonprofit that records and shares the story and lives of Americans, will visit each of the award locations to document stories from the community.

Editor’s note: The Long Beach Public Library was one of 30 institutions that were named finalists in April. 

PREVIOUSLY: Long Beach Public Library Receives Nation’s Highest Honor for Community Service

4/10/17 at 5:45PM by Ariana Gastelum | Long Beach Public Library is among 30 selected for the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community, the Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS) announced.

“The Long Beach Public Library is thrilled to be receiving this prestigious recognition,” Kate Azar, executive director of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation, told the Post. “Everyday, the staff of the Long Beach Public Library works tirelessly to serve children, families, the elderly and disabled, veterans and everyone in the community.”

In early March 2016, the Long Beach Public Library starting offering residents the chance to earn an accredited high school diploma and credentialed certificate through the Career Online High School program.


“The Family Learning Center program, the Makerspace Studios, Career Online High School and more are just a few examples of the programs and services they offer that improve the lives of individuals and families in Long Beach,” Azar said. “For these reasons, the Long Beach Public Library is most deserving for this award.”

For 23 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public services that make a difference.

Through grant making, policy development and research, IMLS is the primary source of federal support for approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums of the nation. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement.

“It is our honor to recognize 30 notable institutions for their commitment to providing programs and services that improve the lives of individuals, families and communities,” Kathryn Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services said in a statement. “We salute them and their valuable work in providing educational opportunities to their community and celebrate the power libraries and museums can have across the country.”

Find out more information about the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service honorees here

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.