Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) nominated the library for a 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, granted each year by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a Washington, D.C.-based group that honors institutions demonstrating extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service, exceeding expected levels of community outreach.

“We are honored to be considered for this prestigious, national award,” said David J. Seleb, Executive Director of the 110-year-old public library, a cultural cornerstone in the heart of the Oak Park community. "Serving our community by fostering literacy, lifelong learning, and a love of reading are essential to who we are and what we do, both for and with our community,” Seleb said. See the library's mission, vision and goals.

In 2013, the library system that serves 53,000 residents recorded nearly 48,000 program visits, more than 781,000 building visits, and 784,000 website visits. Annual circulation topped more than 1.3 million items. Read the library's 2013 annual report.

Following up on its nomination, the library will submit a form and three letters of recommendation from community representatives by the Oct. 15 deadline. Winners will be announced in spring 2015.

Seleb added: “We see how libraries are transforming, and how our communities are changing. To continue to deliver community value, we know it is important for us to be leaders in that change.” 

Earlier this year, Seleb launched the library’s process of turning outward. Using a method of engagement developed by the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, the library is asking about community aspirations, bringing people together for kitchen-table discussions. Through these dialogues, the library is gaining public knowledge that it plans to use for meaningful and purposeful action. Learn more about Community Conversations in Oak Park.

Celebrating its 20th year in 2014, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service was received by the following museums and libraries in May. Learn more about the award.

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY
  • Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL
  • The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
  • Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Las Vegas, NV
  • Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, MO
  • Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CN
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC
  • Octavia Fellin Public Library, Gallup, NM
  • Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, OK
  • Yiddish Book Center, Amherst, MA

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. Learn more about the institute.