Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Michelle Obama to honor local library district’s service to community

First lady Michelle Obama will recognize the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District for its efforts to assist Southern Nevada job seekers beset by the recession.

The district is one of 10 recipients of this year's National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor conferred on libraries and museums for community service.

Library district Executive Director Jeanne Goodrich said she is thrilled by the recognition, which honors district libraries for providing job and skills training during the economic downturn.

"We had to really step back and focus on what it is the community really needed at this point in time, so we had to look at how we dealt with programs," she said.

The result was programming that focused on job training, finances, computing, English language proficiency and other skills suited to area residents. The library also delved into census data to improve services and find out more about the region.

“We know how to target our services and we know where to place our services to better serve the community,” she said.

Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, said it was the library district's effort to align services with the needs of the community that set it apart in a pool of about 100 applicants.

"The library really focused on getting people training for jobs, all types of housing and foods, things to help the community get back on its feet,” she said.

The award will be presented at the White House on May 8. Other 2014 winners include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Chicago Public Library.

Goodrich and LVCCLD Board of Trustees Chairwoman Keiba Crear will travel to Washington to accept the award alongside UNLV senior Avree Walker. The winning institutions are asked to bring a community member who can describe the impact of the organization locally.

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