The Pierce County Library System is one of 10 winners of the nation’s highest honor awarded to museums and libraries for service to the community.
The library system was named today as a recipient of the national medal for museum and library service. The award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services recognizes outreach to the community.
“I am honored and humbled,” said Neel Parikh, executive director of the library system.
“Our communities, staff and partners – together, we are the award winner,” Parikh said in a statement. “With our partners, we are a valued community asset that is making a difference one person at a time.”
Medal winners were chosen from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding expected levels of community outreach.
The library system of was one 33 finalists for the honor from the institute, the primary source of federal funding for the nation’s museums and libraries. The national medal will be presented May 8 in Washington, D.C.
The library system operates 18 libraries and serves the majority of Pierce County’s readers and other library users in Pierce County. It serves the whole county except Tacoma, Puyallup and Roy, which have their own city libraries.
The institute singled out the Pierce County Library System for supporting a diverse community that includes Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a growing population of children, job seekers and small business owners, and older adults.
The library system was praised for leveraging community resources and delivering high-value services. It implemented one of the state’s first non-Dewey Decimal libraries to increase usability. It worked with community partners to provide caregivers with tools and training, helping children prepare for school.
This year’s honorees include a science center, museums for children, music, art and culture, and libraries from seven states.
The other winner’s of this year’s national medal are:
• Boston Children’s Museum.
• Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio.
• Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Miss.
• Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana, Calif.
• Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, Iowa.
• National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
• Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
• Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
• Waukegan Public Library, Waukegan Ill.