Finalist for 2021 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that the Highwood Public Library among 30 finalists for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Highwood Public Library is one of two institutions and the only library in Illinois to be selected as a finalist for this award.

“The revival and reinstitution of the National Medals by IMLS is another signal of recovery and renewal in the nation’s very challenging—but very hopeful—times,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “We are celebrating not only the ongoing excellence of the best of our museums and libraries, but their extraordinary efforts through the pandemic, the recession, the racial justice protests, and national divisions to serve, heal, and bring together our communities. Congratulations to all 30 finalists.”

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities. For more than 25 years, the award has honored institutions that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities.

Executive Director Carmen Patlan said the Library is honored to receive this special recognition. “The IMLS nomination affirms our efforts in becoming relevant and providing impactful, outcome-based programs that are effectively responding to our diverse community’s needs. Our passion for community building is expressed in the extraordinary efforts of dedicated staff and volunteers and their innovative approaches to programming and service delivery. Overall, the National Medal nomination will speak to the value of our library, solidifying our position as a small but mighty institution that is committed to the growth and potential of its community.”

To celebrate this honor, IMLS is encouraging Highwood Public Library community members to share stories, memories, pictures, and videos on social media as part of the Share Your Story campaign, using the #IMLSmedals hashtag, and engage with IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, please visit the IMLS website.

National Medal winners will be announced in late spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions during a virtual National Medal Ceremony this summer.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


See the official press release here: Highwood Public Library_2021 IMLS Medals Release