Harris County Public Library Receives the Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor
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Harris County Public Library Receives the Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor

May 22 2024

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced Harris County Public Library (HCPL) of Houston, Texas today as one of 10 recipients of the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 30 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“IMLS is delighted to announce the 10 recipients of the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” said IMLS Acting Director Cyndee Landrum. “These institutions and their dedicated staff are stepping up to anticipate and meet the needs of their individual communities. From New York to Arizona, these 10 recipients are unparalleled sources of education, health, jobs, and cultural resources, bridging the gaps of distance, resources, and experience for community members. We look forward to honoring their accomplishments in Washington, DC, this summer!”

HCPL was nominated for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service by U.S. Congresswomen Lizzie Fletcher and Sheila Jackson Lee. The nomination highlighted the library’s programs to increase equitable access to services, technology, information, and education for Harris County residents:

  • HCPL leveraged Emergency Connectivity Fund grants to partner with Google and T-Mobile to provide free laptop computers and 5G hotspots to 70,000 residents who lacked reliable home internet service and the devices to connect to it for school and work.
  • The library’s concerted efforts reach low-income and resource-starved areas by building long-term productive relationships with community organizations
  • HCPL's expanding English language learning and naturalization programs
  • The library's partnership with Harris County Juvenile Probation Department to bring library services to young men and women completing residential programs within the HCJPD system.
  • HCPL’s Mobile Outreach Librarians and a fleet of outreach vehicles bring customized educational programs and services wherever Harris County residents gather.

“It is truly gratifying to be recognized by the Institute of Museum and Library Service for the work we do to strengthen communities in Harris County,” says Edward Melton, HCPL Executive Director, “This award is, in part, a ringing validation of our belief that public libraries should be a driving force for positive change. HCPL is committed to identifying and meeting the ever-evolving needs of all the communities we serve.”

Selected from 30 national finalists, the 10 recipients of the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.

The award will be presented at a ceremony this summer in Washington, DC. For a complete list of 2024 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal awardees, visit the IMLS website.

Source: HCPL



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