Monroe County Public Library received the American Library Association’s Excellence in Library Programming Award on June 25.
The award, received for the library’s 2015 program series “Discuss, Meet, & Act: The Power of Words,” recognizes libraries that have created programs that have community impact and respond to community needs, according to an MCPL press release.
The library was honored with the award at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.. It will receive $5,000 for winning the award.
Power of Words is a biannual MCPL and Friends of the Library event that features an author who writes about citizens’ ability to change the world. In 2015, “The Power of Words” featured a talk by John Lewis, a congressman and civil rights leader. The event was held at the IU Auditorium, drawing 1,630 people, according to the press release.
The 2015 Power of Words program also included a month’s worth of book discussions, a civil rights film series and art talks and exhibits.
MCPL and the Friends of the Library also received $20,000 to host the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read initiative in May. The NEA Big Read grant is awarded to 75 nonprofit organizations to broaden understanding of the world, communities and individuals through sharing a book. MCPL was one one of only three libraries to receive the grant in its full amount.
MCPL will use the award money for its 2017 Power of Words and NEA Big Read initiative.
Jamie Ford, author of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” will be highlighted in this year’s Power of Words program.
The book “Everything I Never Told You,” by Celeste Ng will be the center of MCPL’s NEA Big Read initiative.
“The Friends and the library are excited about this tremendous opportunity to engage Monroe County through a community-wide reading of Everything I Never Told You—a gripping and sensitive family portrait about the immigrant and bi-racial experience in America,” said MCPL Director Marilyn Wood in an press release.
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The grant was part of Old National Bank's Tools for Schools campaign.