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Alachua County Library District receives national honor for its outstanding service
November 11, 2011
ContactNickie Kortus - firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternate ContactNatasha Marstiller - email@example.com
The District Was Awarded 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has selected the Alachua County Library District, as one of only ten libraries and museums to receive the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Diverse programs and events plus a strong customer focus helped the Library District to achieve this national recognition -The Alachua County Library District was nominated for its successful community partnerships, customer focus, expanded services, and diverse programs and events.
“The Library District strongly supports partnerships and we are continuously looking for partnerships that will benefit our community,” Just recently, we partnered with the John A.H. Murphree Law Library Board of Trustees to transition a professional law library to our Headquarters location. This partnership provides the public expanded evening and weekend hours said Library Director Shaney T. Livingston. “We have partnerships with many agencies in the community such as: the Literacy Coalition, Early Learning Coalition, United Way, and the Alachua County School Board to name a few. I believe the library is an important pillar in the community and with the many resources we offer, it only makes sense to partner with others. Through partnerships we can offer the citizens of our community so much more.”
The Library Partnership is an excellent example of working partnerships between the Library District, the Partnership for Strong Families, the Florida Department of Children and Families, and the Casey Foundation to create under one umbrella a library plus more than 30 social services to serve the needs of this community.
This past year, another successful partnership was formed with the University of Florida’s College of Medicine and the Library District to expand access to primary health care through UF’s Mobile Outreach Clinic. The Mobile Outreach Clinic visits three library locations - Tower Road, High Springs and Headquarters. These additional locations help to expand health care services to the underserved population of Alachua County. The Mobile Outreach Clinic has been well utilized and plans are to add another day to the current schedule.
Additionally, the library staff serves the county from its downtown Headquarters location plus 11 branches and two bookmobiles. The Library District’s priority of a well trained, motivated and customer-focused staff is the foundation of delivering library services to the entire community.
Expanded services include more digital material available via the Library District’s online eBranch, www.aclib.us. Online “checkouts” or downloads have more than doubled since last year and that growth will continue with the launch of Kindle Books in September. Resources now include more than 50 databases to help students with homework, to provide job seekers help with their employment search, and a host of other resources. All branches provide computer workstations with Internet connections. A total of 292 computer workstations are available across the county assisting patrons with research projects, e-government services, communication and more. These services are especially valuable in our rural communities where high speed Internet is often hard to get and not affordable for all residents.
The Library District’s collection of books, CDs and DVDs is available upon request at any branch making it convenient for patrons to request any item from anywhere in the county and even partner libraries across the state. Once the requested material is available, a patron may pick it up at the closest branch, making it convenient while saving time and gas.
Another crowd pleaser is the diverse programming offered throughout our branches. Some examples include - storytimes that bring families together for fun, learning and bonding. Famous and local authors visit libraries to share their works and stimulate conversation on a variety of topics. Computer classes provide both young and old the skills they need to be connected to their worlds. Entertainers from Anna Moo to Mike the Magician and the Sesame Street Live characters delight the youngest library visitors. Films at your favorite library provide an affordable family outing. Partnerships with the Harn Museum of Art, the University of Florida, the Latina’s Women’s League, and many others help create this interesting line up on the calendar of events.
The Alachua County Library District is able to provide these many services through careful management of its budget and the generous, continuous support from the Friends of the Library and the Alachua County Library District Foundation. Their support helps the Library District to reach its goals and be ranked as one of the top five libraries in the country.
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries for extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions. Recipients must demonstrate innovative approaches to public service and community outreach.
“Congratulations to the Alachua County Library District on receiving the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The work you have done is an inspiration to libraries and museums throughout the nation,” said Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director “With innovation, creativity and a great deal of heart you have achieved an outstanding level of public service.”
The other institutions[NM1] that will received the IMLS medal this year are:
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH
EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Collegeville, MN
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA
Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, WI
San José Public Library, San José, CA
Weippe Public Library & Discovery Center, Weippe, ID
IMLS is the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries. The National Medal for Museum and Library Service was created to highlight the vital role these institutions play in American society. Recipients are selected by the director of IMLS following an open nomination process and based on the recommendations of the National Museum and Library Services Board.