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Library Wins Award For Excellence

Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County

wins nation's highest community service honor

November 15, 2006

Charlotte, NC - The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) joins the famed Shedd Aquarium of Chicago and four other institutions nationally in receiving a prestigious award for excellence. Charles Brown, director of the library, has announced that PLCMC has received a 2006 National Award for Museum and Library Service, presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This is the nation's highest honor for the extraordinary public service provided by libraries and museums. Each institution will receive $10,000 and will be honored at a special ceremony in Washington, DC, at a date to be determined. This is the second consecutive year that a Charlotte organization has earned the coveted award, following Levine Museum of the New South, which won in 2005.

"It is with considerable pride and pleasure that the Library graciously accepts this prestigious honor," said Brown. "Throughout its illustrious 103-year history, PLCMC has attempted to meet, and at times exceed, the expectations of its public. It is that strong desire to be of ongoing service and meaning to the community, and the subsequent support provided, that has made this award possible. As this dynamic community continues to grow and change during the 21st century, PLCMC will aspire to live up to this high honor by striving to always provide the highest possible caliber of library service."

"As the primary source of federal funding for the nation's libraries and museums, the Institute of Museum and Library Services is proud to honor institutions that have dared to set high goals for community service and to attain them," said Dr. Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "These museums and libraries have listened to their communities, heard their needs, and responded. They make a real difference."

About PLCMC, Radice said: "As the largest public library system in the Carolinas, PLCMC manages 24 library locations, numerous outreach programs, and a family of 18 Web sites, serving more than 850,000 county residents, 26,000 area users, and Web visitors from all over the world. Whether in its new ImaginOn Center or one of its smaller neighborhood branches, the public library exemplifies an approach to service and programming that can transform lives."

PLCMC is one of six institutions to be recognized. The other recipients are: Artrain USA, Ann Arbor, MI; the Frankfort Community Public Library, Frankfort, IN; the John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL; the Lincoln Children's Zoo, Lincoln, NE, and the San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, TX.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services ( ) is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute helps create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. It works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to enhance learning and innovation; sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; and support professional development.

Founded in 1903 as a Carnegie Free Library, PLCMC has become one of the premiere libraries in the country with 24 locations, 1.6 million volumes, and 28,000 videos, DVDs and CDs. The library sponsors a variety of community-based programs - from computer- and Internet-education workshops to the award-winning Novello Festival of Reading, a celebration that accentuates the fun of reading and learning. As a public library, we are dedicated to our mission of expanding minds, empowering individuals and enriching our community.

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