“Museums and libraries serve as community gathering places and centers for lifelong learning, and we are very proud to announce Hartford Public Library as a finalist for the 2014 National Medal,” said Susan Hildreth, director of the IMLS. “This year’s finalists exemplify the many wonderful ways museums and libraries can respond to the needs and wants of the communities they serve.”
The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
“We are honored to be among the best libraries and museums in the nation,” said Matt Poland, CEO of Hartford Public Library. “We share this honor with our dedicated staff, board of directors, and the amazing people of Hartford, together with whom we have created this ‘place like no other’ – a 21st century center for learning and civic engagement.”
Finalist status for the 2014 National Medal is recognition of Hartford Public Library’s broad public outreach and community service initiatives, including such innovative programs as The American Place, providing support and community for new immigrants as well as assistance finding jobs and integrating into a new world, and CTWorks@HPL, a partnership that offers a host of services for job seekers.
“We pride ourselves on being so much more than a traditional library – we’re Hartford’s center for learning,” Poland said. “In addition to our many literacy programs, Hartford Public Library offers a place to discover and explore the worlds of music, art, culture, and technology – from free jazz concerts on Sunday afternoons, to book talks, homework clubs, community conversations and our ArtWalk exhibit space, our customers receive a wealth of experiences within our walls.”
2014 will mark the second consecutive year that Hartford Public Library has been a finalist for the National Medal. In addition, the Library was awarded the medal in 2002. This year’s ten award winners will be announced in May.