National Medal for Museum and Library Service Recognizes St. Louis County Library’s Community Contributions
ST. LOUIS—The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that St. Louis County Library of St. Louis, MO is one of six recipients of the 2022 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 28 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
“IMLS is pleased to recognize the outstanding performance and meritorious community and professional service of our six National Medal recipients,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “We look forward to celebrating them and calling attention to their great work not only in their widespread locales but across the land!”
Throughout the pandemic, St. Louis County Library (SLCL) has worked with a variety of community partners to provide critical resources to the region. Efforts included using branch parking lots to distribute over 2 million drive-thru meals with Operation Food Search, providing emergency diapers and period supply kits from the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank, and issuing thousands of Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots to area students to assist with virtual learning, as well as providing GrandPad tablets to help older adults access technology and stay connected through the Digital Equity Initiative. SLCL teamed up with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health to offer free masks, COVID-19 testing, and weekly vaccine clinics at multiple branches. Additionally, SLCL partnered with several justice-involved organizations to provide a Tap In Center at the Florissant Valley Branch for individuals to receive legal assistance and connect with local support services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Selected from 30 national finalists, the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners 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.
Kristen Sorth, SLCL Director & CEO said, “We are incredibly honored to receive this prestigious award honoring the work of our employees. St. Louis County Library is very proud of our work supporting the region during the pandemic. Together with our community partners, we have provided essential services such as meals, diapers, technology, tutoring, vaccines and rental assistance at our branches. We make it a priority to remove barriers and increase access to library services throughout our region. Libraries move people forward wherever they are in life.”
The award will be presented at a ceremony next month in Washington, DC. For a complete list of 2022 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, visit https://www.imls.gov/news/six-institutions-receive-nations-highest-honor-museum-and-library-service.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About St. Louis County Library
St. Louis County Library (SLCL) is the busiest public library in Missouri. In 2021, the library circulated over 11 million items including books, DVDs, eMedia, video games, periodicals and CDs. The Library District consists of 20 branches, 19 of which have undergone significant upgrades as part of the Your Library Renewed campaign. SLCL partners with community organizations around St. Louis to address a wide variety of issues including literacy, food insecurity, and the digital divide. In 2022 SLCL launched a shared catalog with St. Louis Public Library, providing residents with access to over 5 million library items. Additionally, SLCL will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2022 with special programming and events. New programs including social workers at five branches and free notary services will be introduced this year. To learn more visit www.slcl.org.