First Lady Laura Bush will present the 2006 National Awards for Museum and Library Service to three museums and three libraries, including the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, Monday morning at the White House. The awards are conferred annually by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to museums and libraries that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships. Each organization will receive a of $10,000 prize as part of the honor.
Community representative Surya Swilley, a home-schooled teenager who has grown up in the library, spending three to four days a week there, is traveling to Washington for the ceremony along with Library Director Charles Brown and Patricia O'Herron Norman, chair of the Library Board of Trustees.
"These outstanding museums and libraries exemplify great community service," says Laura Bush. "They lead efforts to promote literacy, science education, environmental conservation, and good health. Like many libraries and museums around the country, these six have made themselves indispensable to the communities they serve."
"These award-winning institutions are centers of excellence that connect people to information and ideas," says IMLS executive director, Dr. Anne-Imelda Radice. "The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County strives to expand minds, empower individuals, and enrich its community. Whether in its new facility, ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center, or one of its smaller neighborhood branches, the library exemplifies an approach to service and programming that can transform lives."
These other museums and libraries also received the award:
Artrain USA (Ann Arbor, MI), the Frankfort Community Public Library (Frankfort, IN), John G. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL), Lincoln Children's Zoo (Lincoln, NE), and the San Antonio Public Library (San Antonio, TX).
Founded in 1903 as a Carnegie Free Library, PLCMC has become one of the premiere libraries in the country with 24 locations, 1.6 million volumes, and 28,000 videos, DVDs and CDs. The library sponsors a variety of community-based programs - from computer- and Internet-education workshops to the award-winning Novello Festival of Reading, a celebration that accentuates the fun of reading and learning. As a public library, we are dedicated to our mission of expanding minds, empowering individuals and enriching our community.
The National Award for Museum Service was established in 1994, and the National Award for Library Service in 2000. Recipients of the awards are chosen for their innovative approaches to public service, and for their success in improving communities and making a difference in people's lives. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.