Library receives big award in Washington

For three representatives of the Marshalltown Public Library, Wednesday was a day to remember.

They received the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services at the White House. The library is one of 10 honorees for the award throughout the country this year.

Accepting the award on behalf of the Marshalltown Public Library in Washington, D.C, was Sarah Rosenblum, director; Sandy Gowdy, assistant director; and community member and University of Iowa student Veronica Guevara.

“It was incredible,” Gowdy said. “I am so proud of our library and our town.”

As part of the award, the group got a photo opportunity and a chance to talk to the First Lady Michelle Obama.

“It was wonderful,” Rosenblum said. “She’s very gracious and very tall.”

Guevara called the experience amazing and said the first lady was very personable.

“It’s such an honor to be inside the White House,” Guevara said. “I think the library deserves this.”

This medal is the nation’s highest honor for libraries and museums for service to the community.

The group said it was nice to be among the honorees and they learned a lot from other libraries in the nation. They also appreciated that Marshalltown was recognized for its work in collaborating with the community and hosting a wide range of events for the area.

“It really reinforces all of the good things that we do,” Rosenblum said.

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, recognized the MPL and the other Iowa winner – that National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids in a prepared statement.

“The significant contributions made by the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and Marshalltown Public Library to empower their communities are truly remarkable,” Harkin said.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the Marshalltown Public Library has been a hub in a vibrant community for 115 years.

“This national award recognizes the success of the library today in providing innovative opportunities for children, students and adults of all ages, and helping to enhance the quality of life in Marshalltown,” Grassley said.