Library Earns National Award for Bringing Value to Community

Monday, March 27, 2017
Courtney Lewis
Library Earns National Award for Bringing Value to Community

Press Release: Library Earns National Award for Bringing Value to Community

For Immediate Release
Contact: Courtney Lewis
o: 816.701.3669
m: 816.206.3891
(Kansas City, MO) – The Kansas City Public Library is one of three libraries nationwide recognized for their value to their respective communities.

KCPL joined public libraries in Illinois and North Carolina as recipients of 2017 LibraryAware Community Awards from Library Journal and the reading recommendation database NoveList. The honor goes to cities and libraries or library systems that have demonstrated an ability to make their communities aware of what libraries can do for them – and have delivered on that promise.

The Kansas City Public Library was awarded third place, lauded in part for its work to close the digital divide.

“KCPL has been a leader from the very beginning in the area of digital inclusion as one of the founders of the Digital Inclusion Coalition of Kansas City,” Mayor Sly James said in a letter of support for the award. “Through strong and lasting partnerships, [the Library] helped to create new, strategic, and targeted classes that provide a pathway for members of our community who are without computer and literacy skills.”

Library Journal and NoveList also noted:
  • The Health and Wellness Center at the Library’s L.H. Bluford Branch, which address the health-care gap in an economically distressed corridor of the city.
  • The Library’s Refugee and Immigrant Services & Empowerment department, which coordinates citizenship preparation classes and connects immigrants to Library services.
  • KCPL’s selection as the lone Missouri host of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s First Folio exhibit.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a major supporter of the Library, echoed the mayor’s endorsement. 

“We consider the Kansas City Public Library to be one of our strongest and most impactful community institutions and partners,” said Gloria Jackson-Leathers, the foundation’s director of civic engagement. “It is a vital anchor institution that is eminently deserving of a reward recognizing libraries’ value to their communities.”

The Library will receive $5,000 for the third-place honor, and there will be a communitywide celebration. First place went to the Fairmont City Library in Fairmont City, Illinois; second place to Catawba County Library in North Carolina.