Congratulations to the Ames Free Library on being selected as one of three finalists in the 2011 Best Small Library in America competition by Library Journal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The annual award is given “to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of libraries serving populations under 25,000.” 

The Ames Free Library will receive a $5,000 grant as well as membership and conference costs for two library representatives to attend a gala reception at the Public Libraries Association conference in Philadelphia in 2012. “We are honored to help recognize these innovative libraries, which have excelled at understanding and meeting the needs of their communities,” said Jill Nishi, Deputy Director of U.S. Libraries and Special Initiatives at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “They serve as remarkable examples of how libraries can develop and sustain the critical services their communities need, including high-quality technology and Internet access.”  While the award went to the Naturita Community Library in Colorado, the Ames Free Library and the Page Public Library in Arizona were selected as the two finalists in a highly competitive pool of applicants from all over the country.”  This is, in fact, the first time a library in Massachusetts has received this prestigious award.

Director Madeline Miele Holt, expressed her delight for reaching a personal goal, to apply for and win this grant, set forth when she first became head librarian in 2008.  Ms Holt, together with the Board of Directors, and the Staff of the Ames Free Library would like to take this opportunity to thank the ever-generous people of Easton who have come to the library, participated in its programs, donated both countless volunteer hours and hard-earned cash, and imbued this gracious old building with a vibrancy and community energy that allowed it to be recognized for this national honor. When the staff at the newly renovated Library worked hard at making it a place “Where the Community Connects,” their motto, they did not expect to set a standard for the rest of the nation.  But a little more than a year after moving back into the historic old building, that is exactly what they did!  The library will announce a community-wide celebration at the library in the near future to share and commemorate their happiness and pride in this award.