Highwood Public Library Celebrates IMLS National Medal for Library Service

August 11, 2021

U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (IL-10) hosted a community celebration on Monday, August 9 at the Highwood Public Library in honor of the library's recognition by the Institute of Museum and Library Services with a 2021 National Medal for Library Service. One of three given nationwide, the Medal is awarded by the White House to libraries that have demonstrated outstanding service to their community.

In his welcoming remarks, Rep. Schneider focused on the importance of the library to the community: "Welcome to the Highwood Public Library and Community Center! I could probably stop there, because this library is the epicenter of all the great things happening here in Highwood." State Senator Julie Morrison, Illinois Representative Bob Morgan, Director of the Illinois State Library Greg McCormick, Director of IMLS Crosby Kemper, and others also made congratulatory remarks. "This library not just accepts everyone, but welcomes everyone," said Morrison.

In her acceptance speech, Carman Patlan, executive director of the library, noted "We are small but mighty, and our dynamic programs and services break down barriers." The library's BREAK (Bridging Resources to Educational Access and Knowledge) program was cited as the main reason for the nomination and eventual awarding of the National Medal. Community member Betty Simon spoke about her experiences volunteering, improving her English-language fluency, attaining a GED, starting college, and pursuing her goal of owning her own business at the library: "They make me feel at home; they make me believe in myself," said Simon. "My goal was to get my GED but I don't want to stop there now." 

The community came out in force with a standing-room only crowd, and enjoyed refreshments provided by the offices of Representative Schneider, Senator Morrison, and Representative Morgan.

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