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October 2008: IMLS Honors 10 Museums and Libraries for Outstanding Community Service

October 1, 2008
National Medal

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National Medal Award

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Read praise for National Medal Winners.


Five museums and five libraries have won the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The National Medals are presented to 10 institutions every year by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in coordination with the White House.

"These 10 museums and libraries have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a real difference in their communities. They reach out to people of all ages and backgrounds and invite them to explore our wonderfully diverse history, culture, and literature. I thank them for their good work and encourage others to follow their shining example," said IMLS Director Anne-Imelda M. Radice.

Winners of the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:

  1. Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY
  2. The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA
  3. General Lew Wallace Study and Museum, Crawfordsville, IN
  4. Jane Stern Dorado Community Library, Inc., Dorado, PR
  5. Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, MO
  6. Lower East Side Tenement Museum, New York, NY
  7. Miami-Dade Public Library System, Miami, FL
  8. Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
  9. Skidompha Library, Damariscotta, ME
  10. Skokie Public Library, Skokie, IL

First Lady Laura Bush presents the National Medals to the winners at a White House ceremony; the institutions also receive a $10,000 award. This is the second year that IMLS has awarded medals to 10 institutions; in previous years, the National Medal was known as the National Award for Museum and Library Service and was given to three museums and three libraries.

All types of museums, from anthropological to zoological, fine art to folk art, urban and rural, large and small are nominated for this award. Public and private nonprofit libraries are eligible to receive this award, and nominations of libraries of all sizes are encouraged. Any individual may nominate a museum and/or library in the United States and its territories for the National Medal. To view nomination information, please go to The deadline for 2009 nominations is February 17, 2009.

National Medal for Museum and Library Service