CAMP VERDE - The annual National Medal for Museum and Library Service is considered the greatest national honor for libraries and museums. Recently, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., nominated the Camp Verde Community Library for the 2015 award.
And Gerry Laurito says this is "way cool."
"It's a great feeling to get recognized for what we do," says the longtime library specialist.
Since 1994, the Institute of Museum and Library Services have given the annual award that recognizes the commitment to public service and emphasizes how libraries and museums address local issues with community organizations. Camp Verde Community Library director Kathy Hellman says the nomination isn't just for the library.
"It represents the whole community and their love and support of the library," Hellman says. "We couldn't do half that we do without the support of our community. Their support of the library, everything the library has done. The community can be proud. This is really huge."
"Exciting" is what library specialist Alice Gottschalk calls the award nomination.
"Camp Verde isn't just a little spot on the map," Gottschalk says. "We're moving forward, and Kirkpatrick recognized that. This is unbelievable."
Despite the country's "economic downturn," Gottschalk says the library hasn't stopped growing.
"Just because you're small doesn't mean you can't think big," Gottschalk says. "We're appealing to different people in the community. We are a service-driven library."
Kirkpatrick stated in a press release that the Camp Verde Community Library is "a point of pride for our district. It's an outstanding example of a community-focused, service-driven library."
While the Town plans to move the library into a yet-to-be-built to 17,000-square-foot two-story building on the site of the former Marshal's Office, Camp Verde Community Library continues to run various programs while it utilizes the Community Center gym on Main and Hollamon streets for larger activities.
Camp Verde Community Library also offers digital books, E-readers for checkout, and overdue notices via text message. The library has also created partnerships with community organizations. Recently, the library expanded hours and added operating hours on Mondays.
Representatives from winning institutions will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.