Providence Public Library (PPL) is proud to announce that it will present Senator Jack Reed with its highest honor – The Enlightenment Award – at this year’s Savor the Story Gala on May 10. “The Library is thrilled to recognize Senator Reed’s longtime support of and advocacy for public libraries,” said Jack Martin, PPL’s Executive Director. “Senator Reed has dedicated himself throughout his career to the betterment and growth of not only Rhode Island’s but our entire nation’s libraries.”
“I’ve always thought that libraries played a central role, not just in education but also as a place where the community can come together, a source of common ground. I think the fundamental source of opportunity is education, which is having schools and libraries that are excellent,” said Senator Jack Reed.
PPL’s Enlightenment Award is presented to those who have demonstrated their commitment to and passion for the mission of Providence Public Library, the ideals exemplified by a life of learning, and the value and importance of sharing knowledge. Previous recipients include philanthropists Rosalyn Sinclair (2018), Martha Sherman (2013), and Howard Sutton/The Providence Journal (2013).
Senator Reed’s work on behalf of libraries is undisputed. Most recently, as the author of the Museum and Library Services Act of 2018, which President Trump signed into law last year. Senator Reed’s bipartisan legislation authorizes up to $299 million annually through 2025 to advance the roles of libraries and museums in education, lifelong learning, preservation, and workforce development. It also authorizes the federal museum and library programs administered by IMLS.
Thanks to his hard work, PPL and other Rhode Island libraries have received important IMLS grant funding for a number of initiatives, including grants through the Library Services and Technology Act to support improved online resources. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed has helped secure $15.2 million in federal funding and grants for Rhode Island libraries and museums since 2010. Last year, Rhode Island received formula and competitive grant funding totaling $1,658,149 from IMLS.
In 2016, PPL was awarded a three-year IMLS National Leadership Grant to create a high-impact teen workforce development program model. And just last year, PPL and partners nationwide received a competitive $553,000 National Leadership Grant from IMLS to test and disseminate innovative library practices in adult education and workforce development.
Additionally, Senator Reed was instrumental in securing nearly half a million dollars in federal National Endowment for the Humanities funding through its new Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge grant program. As part of the Library’s ongoing THINK AGAIN campaign, the funds will help PPL preserve culturally significant works and modernize for the future.
Providence Public Library (PPL) is a non-profit organization founded in 1875 to provide public library service. PPL is a library re-imagined. Our library is a place where tradition and innovation intersect — an open and collaborative center of teaching and learning where people can connect, experience, create and achieve.