Waterville Public Library

Waterville Public Library Wins National Medal!

The Waterville Public Library has been selected as a recipient of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Services, the nation's highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. 5 libraries and 5 museums have been selected as winners. The 2017 winners of the National Medal demonstrate impactful programs and services that exceed the expected levels of community outreach and are known as catalysts for community change.

Statement by Waterville Public Library Director, Sarah Anne Sugden:

At the opening ceremony of the new library building in May 1905, Elwood Wyman, Superintendent of Waterville Public Schools, reminded our community that, as with a human, the infancy and youth of a public institution like a library must be considered a period of growth and maturation. Wyman acknowledged that his would not be the generation of Waterville citizens to see the Waterville Public Library reach its fullest potential.

One doesn’t plant acorns for immediate shade, after all. One also doesn’t plant acorns for minimal impact.

In 1904, when our own Waterville library building was still under construction, Minneapolis Public Library Director Gratia Countrymen wrote: “Perhaps still in the minds of many a library is only a place where books are stored, or distributed under many objectionable restrictions. But in the larger sense, the library should be a wide-awake institution for the dissemination of ideas. It should be the center of all the activities of a city that lead to social growth, municipal reform, civic pride, and good citizenship. It should have its finger on the pulse of the people.”

An innovative, dynamic, welcoming, useful public library has been our goal since our very founding. A building just filled with books (or whatever format comes next) was never the intention.

We hope, then, that Elwood Wyman would be pleased and proud that the Waterville Public Library has been selected as a recipient of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, our nation’s greatest honor bestowed to libraries. We hope that you, the community we are so lucky to serve, are pleased and proud, too. National Medal recipients are selected for significant and exceptional contributions to their communities and have demonstrated innovative and extraordinary approaches to public service. We are humbled and proud and so very grateful for this remarkable recognition.

Without question, a great library requires a great team.

The Waterville Public Library is so blessed to have an amazing group of Library volunteers, who donate 100 hours of their time each week to help our Library provide the quality of library service Waterville deserves.

We are lucky this community abounds with awesome organizations, businesses, and institutions with whom we collaborate in numerous ways to empower citizens and strengthen our community.

The kindnesses, support, and generosity consistently shown to the Library by City of Waterville municipal departments are too innumerable to list. Without this extraordinary assistance, the Waterville Public Library would not operate.

The steadfast and generous financial support of community members, local businesses, organizations, and foundations have also made all the difference for the Waterville Public Library and our efforts.

Library Trustees have kept the Library open and moving forward for more than a century, and are we glad! The Board of Library Trustees has been a remarkable steward of this critical community resource, benefiting generations of Waterville citizens.

Each day, Library staff members bring their A game to work, offering the very best of customer and library service to every member of our community. They rock.

It is the cumulative efforts of all Waterville Public Library team members that enable the Library to provide library service meritorious of the National Medal. We offer our heartfelt, love-filled thanks to everyone.

As we said, a great library takes a great team.

The Waterville Public Library has not yet reached the fullest potential in serving the citizens of this community. Each day, we learn and grow. If, in our beginning, we were an acorn, then, in library years, the Waterville Public Library is only now unfurling leaves and extending roots and branches. After all, libraries, like oak trees, live for a very, very long time.

We are just getting started.

Your public library loves you, Waterville, Maine. ❤️



-Posted on May 15, 2017
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