On Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the Los Angeles Public Library with this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service on behalf of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Celebrating extraordinary and innovating approaches to public service, this award is the nation’s highest honor given each year to five libraries and five museums for service to the community.
The Los Angeles Public Library was selected for its success in improving the lives of Angelenos every day by providing a level of social, educational, and cultural services unmatched by any other public institution in the city. The award recognizes the Library’s many programs that help people on their path to citizenship, earn their high school diploma, manage their personal finances, and access health and well-being services and resources, among others like specialized programs for veterans.
City Librarian John F. Szabo accepted the award during a White House ceremony, along with Board of Library Commisioners Member Mai Lassiter and Los Angeles community members Sergio and Francisca Sanchez, who were selected to represent the millions of Angelenos whose lives have been improved by the Library. After emigrating from Mexico 24 years ago, the Sanchezes used the library resources to improve their English, pursue their GEDs and become U.S. citizens.
Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34) said, “For over 140 years, the Los Angeles Public Library has served our diverse community of Angelenos with dedication and excellence. Under the superb leadership of City Librarian John F. Szabo, the Library has become a pioneer in delivering innovative and groundbreaking services to all members of the community.”
The Library Foundation would like to join Congressman Becerra in congratulating the Los Angeles Public Library for this well deserved recognition!