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Richland Library, Columbia Museum of Art named National Medal finalists

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Staff Report
Published Feb. 24, 2016

Richland Library and the Columbia Museum of Art are among 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor given to that sector.

For 22 years, the award has recognized and celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service that are also making a difference for individuals, families, and entire communities.

Columbia is the only city in the nation to have both a museum and a library nominated for the award in 2016.

"It's truly an honor to be considered for this prestigious award and be recognized as one of the top institutions in the country," said Melanie Huggins, Richland Library executive director. "Libraries aren't amenities. We're necessities, especially in times of crisis, and we will continue to move our communities forward in the future."

Last fiscal year, Richland Library had more than 2.7 million visitors at 11 locations, and offered more than 5,000 programs.

"Here at the CMA, we embrace our role as a modern museum in fostering meaningful conversations within the community we serve and connecting with each other through our shared humanity,” said Karen Brosius, executive director of the art museum. “We believe that together, as one Columbia, we amplify and advocate best by collaborating with community partners (including Richland Library) to improve the quality of life for all in our region."

Finalists will have to wait until later this spring when the National Medal will be announced. Representatives from the winning institutions will then travel to Washington, D.C., to be commemorated at the National Medal award ceremony.

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