Brooklyn boasts award winning library

Read all about it: Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has received a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for its service to the community.

Recognized for the work of its Outreach Services Department – offering citizenship classes for new Americans, creative aging workshops for older adults, an oral history project for veterans and the Books-to-Go program for homebound library patrons – BPL is one of 10 recipients of the award, deemed “the nation’s highest honor” given to museums and libraries.

“Our receipt of the National Medal is a tribute to the hundreds of librarians, staff members and volunteers who make Brooklyn Public Library a resource the entire community can turn to, a place where all people can be inspired to pursue their dreams and do their best thinking,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “We are dedicated to serving a large, diverse borough, including children discovering the joys of literacy, students visiting our branches after school, families on the wrong side of the digital divide, immigrants eager to become United States citizens and the innovators who have remade Brooklyn’s image and economy.”

The fifth largest library system in America – with 60 branches located throughout the borough – BPL runs as an independent library system for Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents. Now in its 22ndyear, the National Medal will honor the library for catering to those residents and “making a difference for individuals, families and communities,” according to BPL.

“Libraries like Brooklyn Public Library are vital to our democratic society because they provide citizens with access to literature, computers and other educational resources,” added U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “I am thrilled that the Institute of Museum and Library Services has recognized the tremendous impact that Brooklyn Public Library has had on diverse communities throughout the borough by awarding it with the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.”

“This year’s National Medal recipients show the transforming role of museums and libraries from educational destinations to full-fledged community partners and anchors,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We are proud to recognize the extraordinary institutions that play an essential role in reaching underserved populations and catalyzing new opportunities for active local involvement.”

The other award winners include Madison Public Library (Wisconsin); North Carolina State University Libraries, Otis Library (Norwich, Connecticut); Santa Ana Public Library; the Chicago History Museum; the Columbia Museum of Art (South Carolina); Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children (Gulfport, Mississippi); the Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Arkansas) and Tomaquag Museum (Exeter, Rhode Island).

The award will be presented to Brooklyn Public Library and the nine other winners at an event in Washington, D.C., on June 1.

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