San Mateo County Libraries Recognized as a Finalist for 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

San Mateo County Libraries among one of 30 museums and libraries chosen as finalist for its excellence in programs and services.

Contact: Shelly Hausman, Communications Manager
San Mateo County Libraries
(650) 312-5258

San Mateo County Libraries (SMCL) was named today by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as one of 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation's highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community.

For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities. SMCL was selected as a finalist after an extensive application process, including nomination by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who said, "our county library is leading America into a new era of library services and is an example of America's engine of enlightenment thriving in a diverse and challenging environment."

"The 2016 National Medal finalists make lasting differences in their communities by serving and inspiring the public," said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "We proudly recognize these museums and libraries for their invaluable work to provide Americans with educational resources, 21st century skills, and opportunities for lifelong learning."

"This honor recognizes the contributions of our programs to support critical community needs such as summer learning, early learning, family engagement, and access to technology," said Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services. "We are thrilled to be recognized as a 2016 finalist."

IMLS is encouraging the public to share stories about the finalists on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your San Mateo County Libraries Story, please visit, opens a new window.

The National Medal winners will be named later this spring, and representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored in a White House ceremony. To see a full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit, opens a new window.

About San Mateo County Libraries

San Mateo County Libraries is a Joint Powers Authority that comprises the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, Woodside, and the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. Our mission is to ignite growth through transformative experiences. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, opens a new window and Twitter, opens a new window.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit, opens a new window and follow us on Facebook, opens a new window and Twitter, opens a new window.