The Victoria Public Library has received the Texas Municipal Library Director’s Association’s 2022 Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award in honor of its innovative programs, outreach efforts and commitment to service. In 2022, 73 library systems earned this award, or fewer than 15% of public library systems in Texas. The award recognizes libraries that support standards of excellence across a variety of categories, including literacy support for all ages, cultural and educational programing, digital inclusion and services for underserved populations. “Many of TMLDA’s standards of excellence align with goals that we’ve been striving toward and that are important to the library’s mission,” Interim Library Director Jessica Berger said. “We have always held ourselves to a high standard, and we are honored to be recognized as one of the top libraries in the state.”

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The library often uses creative solutions to reach residents who can’t come to the library in person, whether because of a pandemic or because of transportation or mobility issues. As an example, the library has partnered with Meals on Wheels South Texas since 2020 to allow homebound seniors to check out materials. That program served 25-35 residents per month last year, providing a total of 3,270 checkouts. The library has made strides in recent years to provide more programs geared toward teens and adults to help encourage lifelong literacy. In total, the library provided 394 programs last year for children, teens and adults. In addition to in-house events, the library offers meeting spaces that residents can reserve for meetings and public events. The library also has videoconferencing equipment and laptops for remote meetings and interviews. “The library is truly a community gathering space,” Berger said. “More than ever, people are using the library to connect and to find others who share their interests or to learn a new skill or hobby.” The library will continue seeking ways to better serve the community as staff work to finalize the library’s new five-year strategic plan, which is being developed based on community input. The plan is expected to be adopted this summer. To learn more about Victoria Public Library events and programs, visit www.victoriatx.gov/library.

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