The Los Angeles Public Library was named one of 30 finalists for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced Tuesday.

“The Los Angeles Public Library is honored to be selected as a finalist for this prestigious award and to be recognized by IMLS for the library’s success in empowering our diverse communities and delivering innovative services that help all residents of Los Angeles reach their goals,” City Librarian John F. Szabo said in an official statement.

The Los Angeles Public Library is the only Southern California institution in the running and one of three finalists from California, alongside the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland and The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.

The National Medal is “the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community,” according to an official release.

The IMLS will be featuring each finalist on its Facebook page, with stories shared by the public on how each library or museum made an impact on their lives. The Los Angeles Public Library will be featured March 13.

“The 2015 National Medal finalists have made real and lasting contributions to their local communities through programs that engage and inspire the public,” said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “These institutions serve as trusted providers of educational resources, skills development, and civic engagement. We salute these museums and libraries, which play a key role in shaping our future by providing boundless opportunities for lifelong learning.”

The ten winners will be announced later in the spring, and the medal awarded in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

People are encouraged to post stories about their Los Angeles Public Library experience anytime from February 24 through April 7. People without access to Facebook can share their story by emailing it to the library at

— Staff

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