IL Fire Service Institute Library one of 30 Finalists for 2016 National Medal

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CHAMPAIGN – The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Library is among 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

IFSI is located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and trains more than 61,000 first responders per year. The library serves the Institute’s instruction staff, students, Illinois fire departments and firefighters and other fire / emergency-related users in professional development.

It is the only library in Illinois dedicated to fire and emergency services, as well as the third largest in the United States.

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. Officials say finalists are chosen based on their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.

“The 2016 National Medal finalists make lasting differences in their communities by serving and inspiring the public,” says IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew.

IFSI Director Royal Mortenson says their Library and Archive, and its associated service activities, are an essential element of the IFSI mission. They help firefighters do their work through training, education, information and research.

“This recognition underscores how the IFSI Library is a valuable resource for the more than 42,000 firefighters in Illinois,” says Head Librarian Lian Ruan.

The library is also accessible via online and local libraries, which helps volunteer firefighters, who make up nearly 75% of all Illinois firefighters.

National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners will be announced this spring.

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