DEARBORN HEIGHTS — The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that Dearborn Heights libraries is a finalist for the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Dearborn Heights libraries, which consists of the Caroline Kennedy Library and the John F. Kennedy, Jr. library, is among 30 finalists for the medal and is the only institution in Michigan to be selected as a finalist for the award.
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities.
“So many museums, so many libraries have done such good work over the last two years,” IMLS Director Crosby Kemper said. “We are proud to present the 30 finalists for the IMLS National Medal. Their work is emblematic of the response of the library and museum worlds to simultaneously fulfilling their mission and serving their communities.”
The IMLS is encouraging community members to share stories, memories, pictures and videos on social media, using the #ShareYourStory and #IMLSmedals hashtags and to engage with the IMLS on Facebook and Twitter to celebrate the honor.
National Medal winners will be announced in early June and representatives from the winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions during a virtual National Medal Ceremony this summer.
Dearborn Heights Mayor Bill Bazzi said he is proud of the city’s libraries and their hard work.
“I am so proud of our (library) director, Michael Mccaffery, and his staff for always working hard for our residents,” he said. “They are always looking for better ways to serve all patrons visiting our libraries. This recognition is well deserved.”
The full list of finalists and more information about the medal can be found at www.imls.gov.
The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums.
Mccaffery said that he is excited to see the department’s hard work be recognized.
“I am thrilled that Dearborn Heights libraries and the Dearborn Heights community has merited consideration as a finalist for this award,” he said. “So many staff through the years have done so much work and I am thankful they are getting recognition for all their contributions. The city of Dearborn Heights has supported their libraries and we are grateful.”
Carolyn Smith, a branch librarian, said that being named a finalist means that the department is heading in the right direction.
“Being honored with a national level award when your two-branch library is quite often mistaken as a branch of a larger neighboring city’s library system means we are doing something right,” she said. “Something that got us noticed and helped us carve our own path. From our director to our volunteers to the great support we have in our city, we are thriving and able to offer what the community wants and needs: A great library system.”
Saba Al-Hachami, circulation manager, said that they wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
“I have been working at Dearborn Heights city libraries since 2014, and I would not want to work anywhere else,” Al-Hachami said. “Dearborn Heights city libraries serves a very diverse community and we have worked hard to create programming and collections that fit the diverse needs of our patrons. I am fortunate enough to work with colleagues that really care about making a difference in the lives of our patrons anyway they can. Being recognized with this award means that our efforts are not going unnoticed.”