PicturePoem Projected in Mill Valley.

From First Fridays and Smartgardens to Slam Poetry and incredible national awards, the Mill Valley community has long known that its Public Library is an absolute treasure.

It got another reminder of that fact this week, as Library officials announced that its Poetry Illuminated Project, which projected poems around Mill Valley, garnered the 2020 Innovation of the Year Award from the Public Library Association.

“At times like this, we believe that constant adaptation and innovation is what will allow us to keep serving our community under the most serious of challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic,” City Librarian Anji Brenner says in a statement. “It reminds us that innovation – new ways of thinking about how to do something – does not depend on what’s been done in the past, traditional approaches, or robust funding. Rest assured, we will continue to be a Library that thinks big under any circumstances.”

The award comes with a $2,000 honorarium. The Library intends to use the honorarium to create Poetry Illuminated in a Box, a turnkey kit other libraries can borrow to more easily project poetry in their own communities. 

“We hope Poetry Illuminated can return to downtown Mill Valley and in front of the Library in early 2021,” Brenner adds. “The project can be enjoyed with face masks on and social distancing intact if needed.”

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