The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to the University of Minnesota Libraries. The medal is the highest honor given by the US government to museums and libraries for service to the community. The University of Minnesota Libraries is the only university research library among the 10 recipients of the National Medal this year and is the third academic library to win the award in the 23 years it has been presented.
IMLS is recognizing the University of Minnesota Libraries for being an innovative service provider and problem solver for a diverse array of communities in addition to the core campus community of faculty, staff, and students. The University of Minnesota Libraries reaches well beyond campus to deliver services and programs to 5.5 million Minnesota residents. Its archives and special collections serve several, distinct, off-campus communities. And, with a foremost goal of equitable and open access, the libraries shares its resources with a global audience.
Wendy Pradt Lougee, university librarian and McKnight presidential professor at the University of Minnesota, will receive the National Medal at a ceremony in Washington, DC, this summer. A community member will join Lougee at the event to provide a personal account of the impact of the University of Minnesota Libraries in the state.
After the awards ceremony, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit the University of Minnesota to document stories from the community.
For more details, see the May 15, 2017, University of Minnesota Libraries news release, “We Won! National Medal for Museum and Library Service Recognizes the U Libraries’ Community Contributions.”