ROCHESTER, Minn. - Friday, April 6th, is Rochester Public Library Day in Rochester.
Mayor Ardell made the proclaimation after RPL was selected among 29 other finalists for a National Medal from the Institute of Library and Museum Service.
RPL is the only library in the state of Minnesota to be a finalist this year. Karen Lemke with the RPL said this is the highest honor a library can receive.
"It really goes back to the partnerships we have in the community, the volunteers that support us, the community as a whole. This nomination is really reflective of the community we live in," Lemke said.
Specifically, RPL is a finalist because of its equity and inclusion. The library has a number of programs for everyone in the community.
Phillis Goldman says she comes to the library about every other day. She appreciates the library's inclusion.
"No matter what race, or religion or color it's just welcoming and inclusive and I don't think the town would be the town it is if it didnt have the library," she said.
Jessica Fuchsteiner brings her daughter to the library often. She also said she couldn't imagine Rochester without the community library. She also appreciates the inclusion.
"We love coming to story time for all ages. I also have a 2 year old son so he comes to story time too," she said.
The ILMS will narrow down the 29 finalists to 10, and announce a winner in May. Karen Lemke said medal or not, the library is winning.
"Our hope is always providing that equal access, equal opportunity to everyone. And being that welcoming space in the community. I mean that's our mission. We long to strenghten our community, enrich lives, and spark imagination," Lemke said.
People are encouraged to celebrate Rochester Public Library Day by sharing their favorite stories about the library on social media using the hashtags #ILMSmedals and #myRPLstory.