Craig Public Library Among Recipients of Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor
April 22, 2015
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 21 years, the award has celebrated institutions that present extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The award will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., on May 18.
These ten honorees exemplify the nation’s great libraries and museums and demonstrate outstanding impact and quality of programs, services, and partnerships, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. They were selected from thirty finalists that were among institutions from across the country that were nominated for the honor.
“We are truly stunned and staggered by this honor,” said Craig Library Director Amy K. Marshall. “It is a testament to the community’s enthusiastic engagement with the library and the opportunities it provides.”
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said, “I join everyone on Prince of Wales Island in congratulating the Craig Public Library for earning the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The work that the Library staff has done to empower Alaskan minds with resources for education, entertainment, inspiration, and employment has benefitted youth and adults alike for many years!”
The Craig Public Library prides itself in demonstrating how “remote” doesn’t mean “isolated.” Around 1934, the Vermont Marble Company closed its Tokeen Marble Quarry and removed their last watchman. They then donated 300 books to the town of Craig with the intention of providing the seeds of a library. The library will celebrate 80 years of service in 2015. The City of Craig dedicated the present Craig Public Library building in February 1978.
At that time, the city council turned the project over to a women's sewing club. Organized as “The Craig Women’s Club," this group of volunteers established a library in a small storeroom in the school building. In the beginning, the library opened for two hours in the afternoon, two days a week.
Fundamental to the Craig Public Library’s core mission is to encourage a lifelong love of reading and fostering curiosity and creativity. The Craig Library staff strives to provide programming, educational support, and resources to enrich lives across Prince of Wales Island, and, as technology extends patrons’ spheres of influence.
The 2015 winners of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:
“These National Medal recipients have demonstrated a genuine understanding of their communities and are committed to addressing community needs,” said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “IMLS believes museums and libraries are vital community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural and educational opportunities, and economic vitality. The remarkable community contributions these institutions have made are proof positive of this.”
After the ceremony, StoryCorps - a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans - will visit each recipient to document stories from the communities about the winning institutions.
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.
The next deadline for nominating a museum or library is October 1, 2015.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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