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Union library named finalist for National Medal

Here's a belated note worth sharing with Hub readers today. – Ed. Union County Carnegie Library Earlier in March, the Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for community service. Over the past 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions throughout the nation that have demonstrated extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service. Union County Carnegie Library was named to the finalist list. Throughout March and April, IMLS will celebrate the excellent community work of these institutions through its six-week Share Your Story social media campaign, which began last week. Anyone with a story to tell about these libraries and museums is encouraged to share comments and pictures with #IMLSmedals and tag IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. "We are thrilled to be a finalist for the National Medal, and we know that this is due in large part to our facility and partnerships. We wanted to share this great news with you and tell you how much we appreciate our partnership and are thankful for your support," Executive Director Rieta Drinkwine said. The S.C. Arts Commission was one such partner, as UCCL was host of the first Communal Pen writing workshop series that has since worked its way through South Carolina since last September. National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will receive their medals at a ceremony on June 12 in Washington. Learn more about the Union County Library System here. 

Richland Library wins nation’s highest honor

From The State Article by Erin Shaw

The sound of cheers and plastic hand clappers and the glint of confetti filled Richland Library Main’s second floor Monday after executive director Melanie Huggins announced the library had received the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries. “We can proudly say that Richland County is home to one of the top libraries in the country ... setting new standards to what a library can be in a community,” Huggins said. The library won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, one of 10 institutions nationwide to receive the award this year and the only one in South Carolina. Richland Library’s mission has been evolving over the past several years, with the facilities becoming a community resource beyond books. Of the library’s many community programs, the Institute of Museums and Library Services specifically cited the library’s post-flooding outreach, FEMA sign-up initiatives, and ConnectED Library Challenge, an effort to get a library card for every child enrolled in school. “They’re not fancy, expensive programs, but they’re super impactful. It’s more important to be making a difference in the community,” Huggins said last month, when the library learned it was a finalist for the prestigious award. “As a library system, Richland Library is working to set new standards for what a public library can do to impact the community. It works daily to break down barriers, ensuring that people have access to the resources and support they need to improve their lives,” IMLS said in a statement. “These aren’t just statistics. They represent the lives that Richland Library touches every day.” Last fiscal year, Richland Library saw more than 2.3 million visitors at their 11 locations, issued more than 30,000 new library cards, checked out more than 4.5 million items and offered 4,600 programs. That’s 500 more programs than it offered five years ago. Richland Library also is impacting the community by renovating every library in its system. Three years ago, Richland County voters agreed to spend $59 million to renovate and upgrade 10 library branches. To make room for more meeting rooms and activity spaces, about 10 percent of the library system’s hundreds of thousands of physical books will disappear through the system-wide renovation process. It’s the result of transitioning more spaces transition to people-oriented from book-oriented, Huggins has said. At the news conference Monday, Richland County councilwoman and library chairwoman Joyce Dickerson said the award is proof of the good job the library is doing. “It’s more than just checking out books. It’s community. It’s love.” Programs and partnerships librarian Sarah Gough said the award was “well-deserved.” “I’m really proud of everything we do,” she said. Three South Carolina institutions have received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service: Columbia Museum of Art in 2016, EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia in 2011 and Georgetown County Library in 2007. Richland Library was a finalist in 2016 but did not win. “The award is validation that the direction the library is going is visionary. It’s validation that we are being the kind of library that Richland County needs.” Huggins will travel to Washington, D.C. this summer to accept the award.

Brosius to leave Columbia Museum of Art for new opportunity 

Karen BrosiusColumbia Museum of Art Executive Director Karen Brosius informed board members and staff today of her acceptance of the president position with a national nonprofit organization in early 2017. “It has been wonderful working here in South Carolina and with the talented staff at the CMA,” says Brosius. “I love this museum and this community. Together, our collective team has achieved many great accomplishments, so I leave secure in the incredible future this organization has ahead of it.” Under Brosius’ 12-year leadership, the CMA has transformed into a vibrant, essential institution and a jewel in the cultural life of Columbia and the State of South Carolina. Her vision gave rise to a dramatic increase in landmark exhibitions, signature art works and major collections, family-friendly programming, arts education outreach and innovation, and state and national renown. She stabilized finances early on, more than doubled the museum’s annual budget, and tripled its endowment. This year, the museum received accolades as the recipient of the 2016 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Arts Award in South Carolina- the only museum to have ever won this award twice- as well as the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, America’s highest honor given to a museum and awarded at the White House in June. “This year’s National Medal recipients show the transforming role of museums and libraries from educational destinations to full-fledged community partners and anchors,” says Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We are proud to recognize the extraordinary institutions that play an essential role in reaching underserved populations and catalyzing new opportunities for active local involvement.” As the CMA’s executive director, Brosius has brought great dynamism to the museum after its relocation to Main Street in 1998 and championed the creativity and vision that are the hallmarks of all of the museum’s activities. She has been widely recognized for her achievements in Columbia including receiving the Chairman’s Award from City Center Partnership, the Excellence in Community Leadership Award from the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the Palmetto Center for Women Award for service to the community, and the Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of the Congaree, among others, and for her board leadership in civic and cultural organizations across the city and state. Her career at the CMA culminates in the achievement of a successful five-year capital campaign – the first one since the museum moved into its new Main Street location – an important next step for the museum to strengthen its future and fund new initiatives and renovation plans, which will begin in 2017. “As we have reached our campaign objectives with great support from the community, the museum is well-poised for unveiling its next exciting phase, which centers around three main goals: meet the growing demand of our audience through expansion of the galleries and education spaces, transform the museum through strategic projects meant to make a difference for our audience and community, and strengthen our financial core through the crucial growth of our endowment and the stability it provides in perpetuity,” says Brosius. The CMA has flourished into an organization that gives back to its community in many ways and welcomes people from around the state and country as well as from overseas. The museum currently generates more than $23 million in economic activity annually and supports more than 370 jobs in the Columbia area alone, according to findings in its most recent independent impact study. “Karen leaves us with much love and respect for the way she has grown and transformed the CMA into a gem in Columbia and cornerstone of activity and community engagement in the Midlands,” says CMA board chair Scott R. McClelland. “She has made an extraordinary difference in the arts, cultural, and education community in South Carolina. She has achieved amazing things for us here at the CMA and I’m sure will be an incredible asset in her new role.” The CMA board will hire a search firm with expertise in the arts and anticipates selecting a firm and starting the search process in the first quarter of 2017. “We’re going to take the right amount of time to identify the candidate who will lead the next chapter in the CMA’s future and continue to expand our offerings and engage people in loving art and its role in a vibrant, healthy community,” says McClelland. Via: Columbia Museum of Art

Columbia Museum of Art wins nation’s highest honor for museum service

IMLS Gold MedalThe Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the Columbia Museum of Art is among the 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities. The award will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., on June 1. "At the heart of this recognition are the CMA’s arts educational outreach efforts to at-risk, rural, and underserved communities," said Karen Brosius, executive director of the Columbia Museum of Art. "Through these unique programs we are enriching lives and engaging minds in ways that encourage South Carolina students of all ages to connect in creative and innovative ways. Our recognition as a national award winner is as much about the CMA as it is about the generosity and spirit of South Carolina. With dynamic exhibitions and educational programs for every age, the CMA is redefining the modern museum. 'We extend our most heartfelt thanks to each of our community and educational partners, donors, trustees, members, volunteers, friends, and visitors, as well as the City of Columbia, Richland County, and the South Carolina General Assembly. Their visionary leadership and support make all of our work possible." The Columbia Museum of Art is also a recipient of the 2016 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts, the highest honor the state presents in the arts. "This year’s National Medal recipients show the transforming role of museums and libraries from educational destinations to full-fledged community partners and anchors,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We are proud to recognize the extraordinary institutions that play an essential role in reaching underserved populations and catalyzing new opportunities for active local involvement.” After the June 1 ceremony, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit each recipient to document stories from the communities of the winning institutions. The complete list of  2016 National Medal recipients:

  • Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • The Chicago History Museum (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, S.C.)
  • Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children (Gulfport, Miss.)
  • Madison Public Library (Madison, Wis.)
  • Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Ark.)
  • North Carolina State University Libraries (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Otis Library (Norwich, Conn.)
  • Santa Ana Public Library (Santa Ana, Calif.)
  • Tomaquag Museum (Exeter, R.I.)
Learn more about the National Medal: https://www.imls.gov/medals.  

Columbia Art Museum, Richland Library among 30 finalists for National Medal Award