National award recognizes KDL as one of best libraries in country

Kent District Library is being recognized as one of the best in the country.

The library has received the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the field’s highest honor, given to institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The prestigious award comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

KDL was one of five public library award recipients nationwide, representing institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels.       
The award has celebrated such institutions for the past 30 years. 
“These institutions and their dedicated staff are stepping up to anticipate and meet the needs of their individual communities,” says IMLS Acting Director Cyndee Landrum. “From New York to Arizona, these 10 recipients (five libraries and five museums) are unparalleled sources of education, health, jobs, and cultural resources, bridging the gaps of distance, resources, and experience for community members.”
Outreach efforts recognized

This recognition highlights KDL’s accomplishments in serving people who experience barriers to access and partnering with organizations throughout the community. Examples include providing talking book and Braille services, helping hundreds of people enjoy cultural events who would otherwise not have the means to do so, offsetting the “summer slide” in learning through STEAM-based activities, offering an Express Library in a community requesting greater library access, and more.   
“Being awarded the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Service by IMLS is an affirmation of the commitment to learning, connection and growth that defines KDL,” says KDL Executive Director Lance Werner. “We are dedicated to removing barriers to access and furthering all people in the wonderful communities we serve. We are honored to accept this award on behalf of our 341 amazing team members who serve Kent County residents with dedication and passion.”
The award will be presented at a ceremony this summer in Washington. For a complete list of 2024 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal awardees, visit the IMLS website.
Last fall, KDL received the Jerry Kline Community Impact Award, another national recognition for public libraries, and is investing the $250,000 in prize money by supporting library expansion projects and establishing a scholarship fund.

Kent District Library is a public library system operating 20 branch locations, an Express Library and a bookmobile to serve over 440,000 residents of 27 municipalities throughout Kent County. It is supported by millage dollars and private donations. KDL is a member of the Lakeland Library Cooperative. 
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