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Waukegan Public Library Wins National Award

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — Third time’s the charm for the Waukegan Public Library. It’s been given the nation’s highest award for libraries and museums.

Call it getting a little up close and personal. The community has a huge Hispanic population and the library’s Elizabeth Strearn says they thought they had them covered by carrying a lot of books in Spanish, but it’s more than that.

With the help of Spanish speaking volunteers, they added programs that actually help people with their day to day lives.

“For example, we found out that conversational English, being able to speak to the doctor, to the principal, to school, at the grocery store, these are conversations they like to practice,” said Strearn.

Because of their efforts, the library’s been awarded the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Stearn says it’s the third time they’ve applied for it, and personalizing the programs they offer helped them nab the award.