Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 7:33am

Public encouraged to share stories of library excellence in programs and services on IMLS Facebook page

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that Wisconsin’s Madison Public Library is among the 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.  Madison Public Library and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau are the two institutions chosen in the state of Wisconsin for this honor in 2016.
“The 2016 National Medal finalists make lasting differences in their communities by serving and inspiring the public,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We proudly recognize these museums and libraries for their invaluable work to provide Americans with educational resources, 21st century skills, and opportunities for lifelong learning. As key stewards of our nation’s future, we salute the 30 finalists for their excellence in engaging our citizenry and expanding learning of all kinds.”  
“The Madison Public Library is an exemplary model of how a modern library can change and evolve with the times, while preserving its stellar service to the community,” said Congressman Mark Pocan.  “It offers a shared space that continues to bring people together while keeping pace with quickly shifting user demographics and technologies. I was honored to nominate the Madison Public Library for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service and am glad that it is receiving this well-deserved national recognition.”
"Here in Madison we know that our public library is the heart of our community.  The nine libraries lead the way as we focus on equity and service to all.  From children’s programming and after school activities to access to internet, computers, life-long learning and a focus on civic and community engagement, the entire city benefits from the library's facilities and the incredible staff," said Mayor Paul Soglin
Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging those who have visited finalist libraries and museums to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your Story, please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS.
"It is an honor to be named as a National Medal Finalist and to have this unique opportunity to showcase our library and our library's vision of being a place to learn, share and create. Madison has made a tremendous investment in its public libraries,” said Library Director Greg Mickells. “I have been privileged to hear many stories of the library's impact on the lives of Madison residents and visitors, and I encourage all Madisonians to share their library stories with IMLS and the nation."
The National Medal winners will be named later this spring, and representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored in a White House ceremony.
To learn more about the 2016 National Medal finalists, visit www.imls.gov/2016-medals.
To Share Your Story, please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS.  To visit Madison Public Library, visit www.madisonpubliclibrary.org or www.madisonbubbler.org.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Madison Public Library
Madison Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison (WI) for over 140 years.  Nine locations throughout the City of Madison are open six days per week and welcome over 2.1 million visits each year. For more information, visit madisonpubliclibrary.org, Madison Public Library on Facebook, or @madisonlibrary on Twitter.