LA County Library is Finalist for 2019 National Medal

The Los Angeles County Library System is one of 30 finalists for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

 “The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities, the announcement states. “For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.”

LA County Library is number four on the American Library Association’s list of largest public libraries. It serves an estimated 3.4 million residents across 3,000 square miles through 87 libraries and a mobile fleet of 18 vehicles, including three Bookmobiles, 10 “MakMo” maker mobiles, and five “Reading Machines,” that bring early literacy and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math)-based activities to preschools and daycares outside library walls. The Los Angeles County Library is one of just three California institutions to have been selected as a 2019 finalist, and it is the only California library system. This is the second year in a row the library system has been selected as a finalist.

“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Kathryn Matthew.  

“We are thrilled to be one of this year’s finalists for the IMLS National Medal, the most prestigious recognition in our field,” said LA County Library Director Skye Patrick. “Libraries are much more than books, and LA County Library strives to improve the lives of all Los Angeles County residents through our many programs focused on lifelong learning, bridging the digital divide, cultivating creativity, and serving as a gathering place for community engagement. We are honored to be recognized alongside so many tremendous institutions doing truly impactful work.”

Finalists are chosen because of their significant contributions to their communities. Throughout March and April, IMLS will celebrate the excellent community work of these institutions through its ”Share Your Story” social media campaign, featuring the finalists on their Facebook and Twitter pages. LA County Library will be featured on Friday, March 15. The IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited LA County Library locations or regularly use the Library’s services to share their stories on social media using #IMLSmedals and tagging @LACountyLibrary.   

National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit


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