Rangeview, CO Anythink library system, which The Times profiled as part of its "Future of Reading" series is one of five U.S. libraries to win the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor for libraries. Here's the story from the LA Times.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which awards the medal each year, praised the winners for "serving their communities with innovative and creative new approaches to lifelong learning."
Rangeview appeared in a Times story last Friday that detailed its maverick attitude toward many traditional features of libraries: The district got rid of the Dewey Decimal System, overdue-book fines and reference desks and put in game rooms, big-screen TVs and cafes.
"It's a departure from books," Pam Sandlian-Smith, Anythink's director, said this past summer. "Our emphasis is on creative activity between people and information -- we connect people with ideas."
A few years ago, Rangeview had the worst-funded urban library system in Colorado. Its drab branches were poorly lighted, crumbling and crammed with obsolete books. Less than 10% of the community's population had library cards. If not for a last-minute measure to raise property taxes, its libraries were in danger of being shut down.
All of this year's winners are listed on the IMLS 2010 Medals webpages