FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ten Institutions Receive Nation’s Highest Honor for Museum and Library Service
Journalist Cokie Roberts Gives Keynote Address
|Cokie Roberts makes remarks at the 2011 Medals Ceremony. Click image to access full-size version.|
Washington, DC—IMLS Director Susan Hildreth on Monday presented the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to five libraries and five museums at a ceremony on Capitol Hill. Journalist and author Cokie Roberts gave the keynote address at the ceremony. The National Medal is the highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community.
"These inspiring institutions make it possible for individuals from diverse backgrounds to follow their passions and make meaningful contributions to their communities," said Hildreth."Our winners are preserving endangered manuscripts from around the world, providing internet access to the residents of a small remote town, training African immigrants to be child care providers while at the same time helping to preserve their native cultures, helping teens and young adults discover career paths, and much more. The recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service have wonderful stories to tell that demonstrate how libraries and museums build strong communities and transform lives."
At the ceremony, Hildreth also read the following excerpt of a letter from First Lady Michelle Obama to the medal winners:
"Museums and libraries inspire us to stretch our imaginations, and play an important role in exposing Americans of all ages and backgrounds to fresh ideas. They teach our children new skills and ways of thinking, and even help to promote lifelong wellness. From big cities to small towns, this year’s medal winners are making tremendous contributions to our communities through innovative programming and a commitment to excellence. You are helping to lift up all those who visit your institutions, and I hope you take pride in all you have accomplished."
|Dave Isay makes remarks at the 2011 Medals Ceremony. Click image to access full-size version.|
In her address, Cokie Roberts talked of the economic difficulties faced by libraries and museums, but added, "I am so impressed with the work that’s being done, with the imagination that is coming to the fore, as people find ways to deal with the difficulties that they’re facing and understand that one of the ways is to be more and more and more engaged in the community and have the community more and more and more engaged in the institutions."
In addition to the medal, the winners also receive a $10,000 award and a visit from StoryCorps; Dave Isay, founder and president of StoryCorps, also spoke at the ceremony. The celebration was sponsored in part by History. History also produced a video about the medal winners that was played during the ceremony.
The 2011 winners of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.