Pierce County Library System Receives National Medal at White House
In a White House ceremony on Wednesday, May 8, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Susan Hildreth to present the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Pierce County Library System.
The nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, the medal celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families and communities. Neel Parikh, executive director of the Pierce County Library System, and community member Jo Cruz, an avid Pierce County library user, accepted the medal.
"Families, child care professionals and our Pierce County Library System are team players in this community," said Cruz, a child care professional. "It is reassuring to know that the success of our children is supported by passionate people concerned about the future of our little ones."
“Museums and libraries serve as centers for lifelong learning and as cornerstones for our communities,” said Hildreth. "Pierce County Library System is conducting their own research and implementing authentic solutions to lead the way in early literacy, to support diverse constituencies, and to create meaningful partnerships. We are very proud to name Pierce County Library System one of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners."
This year’s 10 honorees exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include a science center, children’s museum, music museum, art museum, cultural museum, public libraries and county library systems, hailing from seven states.
“I want to congratulate the Pierce County Library System for winning the National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (Wash.). “The Pierce County Library System is one of just 10 national winners of this award this year, which is a testament to its leadership in promoting early literacy and learning in Washington state. These libraries are also hubs for the community with resources for job seekers and small business owners, and unique programs for military families and children with special needs. Thank you to the library system’s leadership and staff for the hard work in earning this significant award.”
Medal winners are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. Later this year, StoryCorps – a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans – will visit Pierce County Library System to document stories from the community.
To learn more about the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners, visit www.imls.gov/medals.