Serving their community goes beyond books and magazine loans for most libraries. Now, the St. Louis County Library is an award finalist for its service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The county library is among 30 finalists for the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, and it is the only institution in Missouri this year up for the award, the library said in a news release Thursday.
Kristen Sorth, library director & CEO said: “We are honored to be included among the nominees for this prestigious award. St. Louis County Library is incredibly proud of our work supporting the region during the pandemic. Together with our community partners, we have provided essential services such as meals, diapers, technology, tutoring, vaccines and rental assistance at our branches. We make it a priority to remove barriers and increase access to library services throughout our region. Libraries move people forward wherever they are in life. ”
People are also reading…
The institute says that “since 1996, the award has honored 176 institutions that demonstrated extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service.” It describes the medal as the “nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities.” Last year, six institutions received the medal.
“So many museums, so many libraries have done such good work over the last two very difficult years. We are proud to present the 30 finalists for the IMLS National Medal, ”IMLS Director Crosby Kemper said in a news release. “Their work is emblematic of the response of the library and museum worlds to simultaneously fulfilling their mission and serving their communities.”
To celebrate this honor, IMLS is encouraging St. Louis County Library’s community members to share stories, memories, pictures, and videos on social media using the #ShareYourStory and #IMLSmedals hashtags, and engage with IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.
National medal winners will be announced in early June.
The library’s news release said: “Throughout the pandemic, St. Louis County Library worked with a variety of community partners to provide critical resources to the region. Efforts included using branch parking lots to distribute over 2 million drive-thru meals with Operation Food Search , providing emergency diapers and period supply kits from the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank, and issuing thousands of Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots to area students to assist with virtual learning, as well as providing GrandPad tablets to help older adults access technology and stay connected through the Digital Equity Initiative. SLCL teamed up with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health to offer free masks, COVID-19 testing, and weekly vaccine clinics at multiple branches. Additionally, St. Louis County Library partnered with several justice- involved organizations to provide a Tap In Center at the Florissant Valley Branch for individuals to receive legal assistance and connect with local suppo rt services during the COVID-19 pandemic. “