Chicago Public Library Receives National Medal for Museum and Library Service at White House Ceremony

The Chicago Public Library today received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service at a ceremony hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon, who accepted the award from Mrs. Obama, represented the City of Chicago at the event.

“The Chicago Public Library continues to serve students and communities across the city by offering cutting-edge technologies alongside a phenomenal range of physical and digital resources,” said Mayor Emanuel. “After a recent study named Chicago home of the best public library system in country, this award is yet another way to recognize what all Chicagoans know—that our libraries are no longer just a place for students to read about the past—we are transforming them into a place where students and neighborhoods can write their own story of future success.”

The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries, recognizing service to the community. It is presented each year by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.

“Each day at our 80 branches across the City of Chicago we are fostering a passion for learning in our students and community members,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon. “It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of the Chicago Public Library’s dedicated staff and volunteers.”

In 80 branches across the City of Chicago, the Chicago Public Library continues to promote innovation in the City of Chicago. The library recently opened the 3D Maker Lab, offering 3D design software, 3D printers and other 21st century tools of innovation, while expanding the digital learning YOUmedia program for local teens. The library’s redesigned website offers resources that can better connect patrons to digital and physical resources along with an improved digital library catalog.

The Chicago Public Library also serves as a center of learning for students throughout the city. The library offers the most comprehensive homework assistance program of any library system in the country, in both English and Spanish. A record 71,000 children participated in creative learning opportunities held at Chicago Public Library locations as part of 2013’s Summer Learning Challenge.

Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology.  The Chicago Public Library recently received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; is a finalist for a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and was ranked number one in the U.S. and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, visit