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Washoe County Library System Receives National Recognition

Programming Awards Won for The QUAD: Makerspace and Kids Café: Free Summer Meals Program

The Washoe County Library System received  two outstanding achievement awards from the National Association of Counties at the annual conference held in July.  

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, library services, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

The first award is for The QUAD: Makerspace located in the Downtown Reno Library. The QUAD allows community access to tools, technologies that are not easily accessible otherwise, and facilitates learning through direct experimentation and from each other. The QUAD inspires an interest in science, technology, design, and lifelong learning, and allows patrons of all ages, the ability to work together, alone, or with staff on creative projects, and to experiment freely. Since the grand opening in August of 2018, The QUAD has helped hundreds of participants experiment, take risks, and play with their own ideas, and users begin to see themselves as learners who have good ideas and can transform their own ideas into reality.

The second award is for the Kids Café: Free Summer Meals program.  The Kids’ Café program has demonstrated that public libraries are natural spaces for serving meals to children ages 1-18 by offering trusted spaces and families feel comfortable coming to the library.  In 2018, the Washoe County Library System, in collaboration with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada proudly served hundreds of meals to children and teens whose access to lunch and learning opportunities disappeared when school ends and summer begins.

Both programs have been recognized with 2019 Achievement Award's from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The 2019 awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. 

NACo President Greg Cox said, “Counties implement innovative programs that enhance residents’ quality of life every day. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs demonstrate how counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.”

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. 

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