The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that Williamsport, Pennsylvania’s James V. Brown Library is among the 30 finalists for the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 23 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families and communities.

“The 2017 National Medal Finalists represent the leading museums and libraries that serve as catalysts for change in their communities,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “It is our honor to recognize 30 notable institutions for their commitment to providing programs and services that improve the lives of individuals, families and communities.  We salute them and their valuable work in providing educational opportunities to their community and celebrate the power libraries and museums can have across the country.”

Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members who visited James V. Brown Library to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your Story and learn more about how these institutions make an impact, please visit


“The mission of the James V. Brown Library is to be the place to go, to learn, connect and grow,” said Barbara S. McGary, executive director of the Brown Library. “Our nomination for the 2017 National Medal for Library and Museum Service is a wonderful affirmation of the impact that our library makes in the community with the good work that is part of our commitment to live and breathe our mission statement. National recognition gives testimony to our citizens that their investment in the James V. Brown Library has achieved great things for their community. It acknowledges that our community members care for one another, believe in the value of a public library and it enlightens individuals who may not have realized the ways in which our community library is creating positive change.”

The National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. The representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony.

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

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.