Earlier this week the High Point Public Library announced that it was providing free library cards to anyone who wants them whether they live in High Point or not.

On Thursday, April 7, the library had another big announcement: that the library is a finalist for the 2022 “National Medal for Museum and Library Service” that’s given out each year by the Institute of Museum and Library Service.

Nationwide, there are only 30 libraries still in the running and the High Point Public Library is one of only three institutions in North Carolina to be selected as a finalist for the award. The other two are the Asheville Art Museum and Neuse Regional Libraries in Kinston.

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to “museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities.” For over 25 years, the award has been given to institutions known for “excellent service” to the community it serves.

High Point Public Library Director Mary Sizemore was, of course, thrilled with the news.

She said the library tries to provide services that are closely matched to the needs of its users.

“Public libraries, as trusted local institutions, are uniquely situated to respond to community needs through strong partnerships and shared efforts,” she said, adding that the High Point library has been able to “effectively adapt existing programs and services and add new ones to address food insecurity, chronic health issues and other significant issues using our network of partners and supporters.”

To celebrate the honor of being a finalist, the Institute of Museum and Library Service is encouraging High Point Public Library’s users to share stories, memories, pictures, and videos on social media using the #ShareYourStory and #IMLSmedals hashtags. They can also share their stories on Facebook and Twitter.

National Medal winners will be announced in early June and representatives from the winning institutions will be honored during a virtual National Medal Ceremony this summer.