For making “significant and exceptional contributions” to the community, Phoenix Public Library is among 30 finalists for the nation’s highest library honor, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

“Our library system is second to none in the range of services and innovations it provides,” said Mayor Greg Stanton, who nominated the library for the award. “To achieve such a distinction for this industry’s most prestigious award is not only an honor for Phoenix Public Library, but also a point of tremendous pride for every Phoenix resident.”

More than 150 applications were submitted for the medal, which is awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and celebrates libraries’ impacts on individuals, families and communities across the nation.

For the Phoenix Public Library, this includes such services as more than 70 early literacy story times each week, staff taking reading programs to more than 70,000 students a year and issuing library cards to kids, as well as partnering with St. Mary’s Food Bank to provide almost 8,000 Kids Café meals annually, along with a literacy and/or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity.

In addition, each year more than 8,000 high school students receive hands-on help with college preparation classes, free placement testing and scholarship services, and each day library staff provides one-on-one job-readiness mentoring, resume building and employment search assistance to anyone who seeks it.

Ten National Medal winners will be named in the spring, and representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony. Winning institutions also will receive a visit from StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization that records, preserves and shares stories of Americans all over the country.


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