ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 6, 2021) — Anaheim Public Library’s work to keep serving our community during the challenges of the pandemic have earned an exclusive national honor.
Anaheim Public Library was recognized as 2021 Library of the Year for its commitment to safely serving residents during the height of the coronavirus outbreak.
The national award program, hosted by Gale and Library Journal, celebrates one library each year that shows exemplary service to their community with creativity and innovation.
“Anaheim Public Library illustrated an unwavering commitment to serving the community, transforming library services, and working on the front lines to connect with residents who needed it most across the city,” said City Librarian Audrey A. Lujan.
After the pandemic closure of Anaheim library branches, community centers, schools and even major venues such as the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Public Library shifted to become a lifeline for residents who rely on the Library as a place to learn and access information.
The Library's innovative response to adapting library services ensured that the Anaheim community had access to books, meals, school supplies, internet access and more.
Library staff continued their well-loved educational programs online, offering engaging storytimes, parent workshops and science and arts-focused programs.
Keeping kids and families engaged at home, virtual programs streamed online gave a sense of reassuring normalcy, connection and comfort during a unique and difficult time for Anaheim.
The Library pivoted beyond books to meet the community's needs, being the first to offer curbside service and virtual programs in the region.
Through community partnerships and conversations, the Library developed services to meet the needs of Anaheim’s diverse community, including many first-generation families, foster youth and seniors.
Pandemic outreach included expanding Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, Farsi and Korean books in the Library’s collection, creating a tailored Library card to address the unique challenges faced by foster youth and by offering technology workshops and art kits for seniors.
With Anaheim having administered more than 500,000 vaccines and coronavirus cases near zero in our city, the Library is proudly and fully back open, creating more initiatives to improve our connection to the community.
This is Anaheim Public Library's first time receiving the national award.