Wilmington library receives high honor

The Institute of Museum and Library Services gave the Wilmington Library a National Medal for Museum and Library Services - the nation's highest honor for a library.

The Wilmington Library is being honored as one of the best libraries in America.

The library on Rodney Square recently received a National Medal for Museum and Library Services - the nation's highest honor for a library - from The Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Wilmington's award was one of six selected from 30 national finalists. IMLS officials say the winners represent "institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive."  

"We decided that our role in the community is to serve and an innovative and inviting link to the world, since a majority of our constituents don't leave Wilmington, it's incumbent on us to bring the world to them," Library Director Jamar Rahming said in an interview with WDEL News.

"We have executed library services with the utmost coolness, freshness and swagger," Rhaming said, pointing to the libraries use of pop culture as way to interest younger people in the library.

"We exploit the pop culture and celebrity motif to reel in our constituency in so that they can be exposed to different world views  and so that we can offer them context to something they may have read or may have subscribed to virtually," Rhaming said.

Case in point, the library's Fall lineup of speakers includes actress Jennifer Lewis from the show "Blackish", former basketball star Lamar Odom, and a reunion of the cast of the TV show "A Different World."

 "Our role now is to make sure that the city of Wilmington has an optimal intellectual fitness and wellness, because we're losing a generation of young people by virtual of social media and technology," Rahming said.

Rahming urged the community to check out all the free resources, both on the shelves and online: “This national award is for our community. It recognizes that when libraries work with the community, they can be change agents and catalysts for talent discovery and development, for social, educational, and economic well-being.”

In addition to being one of the nation's oldest libraries - founded in 1788, the Wilmington Library was also recently voted by Fodor's Travel as being the third most beautiful library in the country.

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