The Richland County Library in Columbia was recently honored by The Institute of Museum and Library Services as a recipient of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The award is the highest honor that is given to museums and libraries, and Richland County’s library had been nominated for this prestigious award for the two previous years in a row before this year’s win. Richland County’s library is one of only five libraries and five museums to receive the award each year. The Institute of Museum and Library Services acknowledged several areas which contributed to the win for the library, including the response to the October 2015 historic flooding, participating in the White House's “ConnectED Challenge”, and working with the Affordable Care Act.
Richland County’s 11 library locations issued over 30,000 new library cards last year, and helped over two million people check out more than 4.5 million items. “What an incredible privilege to be named one of the top five libraries in the country,” said Melanie Huggins, Richland Library Executive Director. “Not only does this recognition shine a positive spotlight on our community, but it acknowledges the efforts of our staff – that they are truly making a difference in the lives of local residents.” Huggins will travel to Washington, DC this summer to accept this award, along with a community representative, who will provide a personal account of the positive impact that the county’s library system has had on the community. Click here for a complete list of 2017 recipients, and to learn more about the National Medal winners.