Libraries earn national notice at White House

Jun 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Everything Else

Pierce County Library System was one of 10 recipients of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service, a recognition of top-performing museums and libraries in service to their community.

The awards were presented May 8 in Washington, D.C. during a White House ceremony. First Lady Michelle Obama was one of the presenters.

The Pierce County Library System, which has 18

First Lady Michelle Obama presents the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Pierce County Library System executive director Neil Parikh (middle) and Jo Cruz, an advocate of early-childhood learning. (Courtesy photo)

First Lady Michelle Obama presents the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Pierce County Library System executive director Neil Parikh (middle) and Jo Cruz, an advocate of early-childhood learning. (Courtesy photo)

branches countywide, was cited for researching “and implementing authentic solutions to lead the way in early literacy, support diverse constituencies, and create meaningful partnerships” in the community, said Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which selects National Medal winners from among nominations that are submitted from across the U.S.

Neel Parikh, director of the library system (PCLS), accepted the award from Obama.

 “I am honored and humbled,” said Parikh. She credited “our great staff and community partners. Together, we are the award winner. With our partners, we are a valued community asset that is making a difference one person at a time.”

Parikh was accompanied at the award ceremony by Jo Cruz, a Spanaway childcare professional and advocate of early learning and literacy.

The community served by PCLS includes a growing population of children, a constant influx of new residents from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, active older adults, and job-seekers and small-business owners. Its programs include the flagship Early Literacy, which helps prepare children for school by developing curriculum and services with organizations such as the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Child Care Aware.

“Pierce County Library System is conducting their own research and implementing authentic solutions to lead the way in early literacy, support diverse constituencies, and create meaningful partnerships,” said Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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