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Published on May 16th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff



Pictured: Melanie Huggins making the announcement recently in front of library board. (Terry Ward Photo)

Recognized as One of the Top Five Libraries in the Country

Columbia, S.C.- After back-to-back years as a finalist, the Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS) is naming Richland Library as a winner of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for their service and dedication to the community.

For 23 years, the award has recognized and celebrated institutions demonstrating extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service that are also making a difference for individuals, families and entire communities.

“What an incredible privilege to be named one of the top five libraries in the country,” said Melanie Huggins, Richland Library Executive Director. “Not only does this recognition shine a positive spotlight on our community, but it acknowledges the efforts of our staff – that they are truly making a difference in the lives of local residents.”

IMLS is acknowledging Richland Library’s significance in the community, which had a door count of more than two million at its 11 locations last year. It also is highlighting Richland Library’s extensive reach in the following areas:

Response to the October 2015 historic flooding
Development of a social awareness task force
Participating in the White House’s ConnectED Challenge
Providing life skills to local detainees
Work with the Affordable Care Act
Evolution of the Business, Careers and Research Center
Early literacy efforts for families through Here Comes Kindergarten
The 10 winners of the 2017 National Medal – five libraries and five museums – were selected from 30 national finalists, which IMLS announced in March.

Huggins is scheduled to travel to Washington, DC in the summer to accept the award. A community member is joining her to share a personal account of Richland Library’s influence on lives in the community every day.

For questions, please contact Emily Stoll at 803-587-3637 or email

About Richland Library

Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 11 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library offers a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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