September 1, 2021

Now Accepting Nominations for 2022 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service
Submissions for Nation’s Highest Honor Due by November 1, 2021

Elementary School children touring a gallery at Medalist Museo de Arte de Ponce.
Elementary School children touring a gallery during their field trip outing in 2019. (Photo courtesy of FY 2021 Medalist Museo de Arte de Ponce)

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now accepting nominations for the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor awarded to libraries and museums for service to their communities.

“Libraries and museums have proven during the pandemic to be the indispensable beacons of culture and community,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “The passion for learning and the need for critical information were fulfilled by our great institutions. The IMLS National Medal celebrates and commemorates the best in the museum and library worlds, the best in our communities across the land.”

Anyone—an employee, a board member, a volunteer, a member of the public, or a government official—is invited to nominate an institution. Museums and libraries of most disciplines and types are eligible. Regardless of who nominates the library or museum, in order to be considered, the institution must complete the online nomination form by 11:59 pm ET on Monday, November 1, 2021.

The National Medals program recognizes outstanding libraries and museums of all types and sizes that deeply impact their communities by:

  • fostering a lifelong passion for learning for all people, nourishing curiosity and imagination from early childhood through adulthood, for people of all abilities and needs;

  • providing access to information through advancing digital capacity, focusing on digital inclusion and access to digital and informational resources, including e-books and materials to help address workforce development and public health;

  • transforming the lives of community members by being trusted community spaces for convening, connection, and conversation; enlightenment and shared thoughts and opinions; and preserving natural and cultural heritage and community memory; and/or

  • continuing to engage their communities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and planning for the institution’s future, with enhanced focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, through providing information, programming, and services virtually, or taking innovative and imaginative steps toward continuing services and reopening their physical spaces.

For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, visit the Medals nomination page.

To learn more about the FY 2021 Medalists, you can view this year’s virtual ceremony and celebration.

For a look back celebrating the last 25 years of National Medals, click here to watch the short video with StoryCorps. More information is also available on previous years’ Medal recipients via the IMLS website.

For questions, contact:

Museums: Mark Feitl,, 202-653-4635
Libraries: Laura McKenzie,, 202-653-4644
General Questions:

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 libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

National Medal for Museum and Library Service