San José Public Library Awarded 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

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October 25, 2011           


San José Public Library Receives Highest National Honor

for Its Outstanding Community Service




The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has selected the San José Public Library (SJPL) as one of only ten libraries and museums to receive the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.



The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that demonstrate extraordinary innovative approaches to public service and community outreach.  



San José Public Library is the FIRST city library in California to receive the award and was selected for:



  • Meeting the information and learning needs of its ethnically diverse community
  • Stellar innovative and educational programs
  • Providing our customers with on demand services and self-service options that enhance their library experience such as self-checkout machines and online account services.




Press Conference Announcing National Medal


Watch the National Medal Ceremony in Washington D.C.


Pictures of the Ceremony







“Congratulations to the San José Public Library on receiving the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.  The work you have done is an inspiration to libraries and museums throughout the nation,” said Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director. “With innovation, creativity and a great deal of heart you have achieved an outstanding level of public service.” 





 “I am pleased that the San José Public Library System is receiving this distinguished recognition from the Institute of Museum and Library Services,” said Congressman Mike Honda, who nominated San José Public Library for the award. “Here in Silicon Valley, we pride ourselves on innovation.  SJPL is an international model for providing traditional and cutting edge library services to all Silicon Valley residents.  Under the direction of Jane Light, the SJPL developed new programsand methods which have positively redefined the role of libraries in our community.” 





"I congratulate the San José Public Library and the entire San José community for receiving the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service award. San José Public Library is one of the country’s busiest and most vibrant libraries," said US Senator Dianne Feinstein. "More Californians visited the library last year than the combined total attendance at home games of the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, and San José Sharks. I am gratified the community has discovered and embraced this world class public library, and the library has embraced the community right back by providing a variety of services and new ideas for people of all ages, including literacy and learning skills for young people, and employability skills for adults. These are resources every community needs, especially during tough economic times."




“We are extremely proud of our libraries here in San José and I’d like to thank the Institute for Museum and Library Services for this distinguished honor,” said Mayor Chuck Reed. “This award is a testament to the many staff, volunteers and supporters who have helped San José libraries continue to provide excellent services during these tough budget times.”







“I am truly honored and delighted that IMLS has chosen San José Public Library as one of the ten institutions to receive the National Medal,” said Jane Light, SJPL Library Director.  “It is indeed a recognition that could not have been achieved if it weren’t for the dedicated and friendly staff members that work very hard every day to provide the much needed and heavily used library services the community desires.” 







Learn more about the 2011 winners of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service view the brochure, watch the video that the HISTORY Channel produced or visit




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