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West Warwick Public Library named finalist for 2021 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that West Warwick Public Library is among 30 finalists for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. West Warwick Public Library is the only institution in Rhode Island to be selected as a finalist for this award, and the first library in the state to be so recognized by IMLS since Providence Public Library in 2001.

“The revival and reinstitution of the National Medals by IMLS is another signal of recovery and renewal in the nation’s very challenging – but very hopeful – times,” IMLS Director Crosby Kemper said. “We are celebrating not only the ongoing excellence of the best of our museums and libraries, but their extraordinary efforts through the pandemic, the recession, the racial justice protests, and national divisions to serve, heal, and bring together our communities. Congratulations to all 30 finalists.”

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities. For more than 25 years, the award has honored institutions that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities.

“Like many towns across the country, West Warwick – once a center of manufacturing in the state – has had to face up to the economic and social challenges of the more recent past,” Library Director Colin McCullough said. “Yet our diverse population remains vibrant and optimistic for the future, an attitude buoyed up by the West Warwick Public Library. Our patrons’ needs might be informational, educational or – given the last twelve months – simply fun and entertainment, but each request is met with the same care and consideration by a dedicated staff. This recognition on the part of IMLS is a well-deserved tribute to their creativity, commitment to inclusivity, and sense of community.”

To celebrate this honor, IMLS is encouraging West Warwick Public Library’s community members to share stories, memories, pictures, and videos on social media as part of the Share Your Story campaign, using the #IMLSmedals hashtag, and engage with IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, please visit the IMLS website.

National Medal winners will be announced in late spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions during a virtual National Medal Ceremony this summer.

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