SCHUMER ANNOUNCES BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY AWARDED THE ‘2016 NATIONAL MEDAL FOR MUSEUM & LIBRARY SERVICE’
Brooklyn Public Library is One of Just Ten Winners From Across the Country; Honor Recognizes Exceptional Service in Communities
Schumer Supported Brooklyn Public Library’s Nomination for This Award; Senator Highlighted Its Innovative Educational & Cultural Programs That Are Offered to 2.5M Brooklynites Across the Borough
Schumer: Brooklyn Public Library is Deserving of This Award Because Of Its Commitment to Providing Brooklynites Of All Backgrounds & Circumstances With Access to Exceptional Public Programs & Resources
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that Brooklyn Public Library has been awarded the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, an honor that recognizes exceptional service to user communities. Brooklyn Public Library is one of just ten winners across the country. Last year, Schumer wrote to the Institute of Museum and Library Services in support of Brooklyn Public Library’s nomination and noted the library’s outstanding community outreach and innovative library services.
“Libraries like Brooklyn Public Library are vital to our democratic society because they provide citizens with access to literature, computers and other educational resources,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “I am thrilled that the Institute of Museum and Library Services has recognized the tremendous impact that Brooklyn Public Library has had on diverse communities throughout the borough by awarding it with the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Congratulations to Brooklyn Public Library on this outstanding accomplishment and I look forward to seeing its future successes in my home borough of Brooklyn!”
“Our receipt of the National Medal is a tribute to the hundreds of librarians, staff members and volunteers who make Brooklyn Public Library a resource the entire community can turn to, a place where all people can be inspired to pursue their dreams and do their best thinking,” said BPL President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “We are dedicated to serving a large, diverse borough, including children discovering the joys of literacy, students visiting our branches after school, families on the wrong side of the digital divide, immigrants eager to become United States citizens and the innovators who have remade Brooklyn’s image and economy. And as ever, we provide free access to millions of books housing nearly all of humanity’s accumulated wisdom and experience.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) honors outstanding institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to communities. According to IMLS, selected institutions demonstrate extraordinary approaches to serving their constituents and exceed expected levels of community outreach.
Brooklyn Public Library serves 60 libraries throughout the borough and provides 2.5 million Brooklyn residents with access to library resources. It is an independent system, separate from the New York City and Queens libraries. In addition to more than 1,100 free Internet-accessible computers, Brooklyn Public Library offers innovative educational and cultural programs to its diverse group of constituents, including “Citizenship Corners,” Telestory,” “Child’s Place for Children With Special Needs Program,” and “Services for Older Adults.” Overall, Brooklyn Public Library is committed to providing Brooklynites of all backgrounds and circumstances with access to programs and resources that meet their unique needs and interests.
A copy of Schumer’s letter to IMLS is below:
October 1, 2015
Institute of Museum and Library Services
1800 M Street NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
Dear Ms. Marx:
I am pleased to write in support of the nomination of Brooklyn Public Library for the Institute of Museum and Library Services 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, an honor that recognizes exceptional service to user communities.
With 60 libraries throughout the borough, BPL plays a vital role in each and every community, providing Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents with access to exceptional library resources—including collections in more than 126 languages, computers and Internet access, and a wide range of free educational and cultural programs. But what most distinguishes BPL’s record of service is its unwavering commitment to providing Brooklynites of all backgrounds and circumstances with access to library programs and resources that meet their unique needs and interests. BPL’s Department of Outreach Services, established in 2013, has made enormous strides over the past two years in helping to further this goal by focusing on traditionally underserved and marginalized populations.
Throughout Brooklyn there are many new and innovative library programs underway or soon to be launched. For Brooklyn’s large immigrant population these include “Citizenship Corners,” which are available at every branch, as well as a new citizenship instruction program, both made possible with support from US Citizenship and Immigration Services. In addition to providing library books to several NYC Department of Corrections facilities, BPL offers family literacy programs including the new “TeleStory,” a videoconferencing service that enables children and their incarcerated parents to read together—a service unique among U.S. libraries. In addition, BPL extends its resources and services provided by its Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs program to many community locations throughout Brooklyn including shelters, medical centers and juvenile detention facilities, while its Services for Older Adults connects the homebound with books and other library materials and provides rotating collections at approximately 150 senior centers and nursing homes.
As evidenced through its growing roster of programs and services—including creative aging workshops for older adults, citizenship classes and English conversation groups, prison services and educational and recreational programs for children with special needs—BPL has been able to leverage many successful partnerships with City, State and Federal agencies, community based organizations, non-profit groups and a dedicated cadre of volunteers to reach and serve Brooklyn residents in greatest need of library resources.
Please accept this letter of support and my hearty endorsement of Brooklyn Public Library’s nomination for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service in recognition of its outstanding community outreach and innovative library services.
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