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First Lady Michelle Obama Presents National Medal to Exceptional Museums and Libraries at White House Ceremony

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Mrs. Obama deliveres remarks at the ceremony.
Monday, May 18, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact
Adrienne Lee
(202) 414-0788; alee@susandavis.com

First Lady Michelle Obama Presents National Medal to Exceptional Museums and Libraries at White House Ceremony

Recipients Recognized by IMLS for Outstanding Community Service

Washington, DC – This morning, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the Institute of Museum and Library Services Acting Director Maura Marx to present the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Ten institutions from across the country attended the White House Ceremony to be recognized for outstanding service to their communities.

The 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients are:

Mrs. Obama deliveres remarks at the ceremony.

  • Amazement Square (Lynchburg, VA)
  • Cecil County Public Library (Elkton, MD)
  • Craig Public Library (Craig, AK)
  • Embudo Valley Library and Community Center (Dixon, NM)
  • Los Angeles Public Library (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Louisiana Children’s Museum (New Orleans, LA)
  • Museum of Northern Arizona (Flagstaff, AZ)
  • New York Hall of Science (Queens, NY)
  • The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, NY)
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose, CA)

The First Lady presented the National Medal to the museum and library directors and to community members from each institution, who shared how the library or museum has impacted their lives.

In her remarks, First Lady Michelle Obama said to the recipients, “The services that you all provide are not luxuries. Just the opposite. Every day your institutions are keeping so many folks in this country from falling through the cracks. In many communities our libraries and museums are the places that help young people dream bigger and reach higher for their futures, the places that help new immigrants learn English and apply for citizenship…the places where folks can access a computer and send out a job application so they can get back to work and get back to the important process of supporting their families.”

“Our nation’s museums and libraries provide robust programs, services, and resources that fuel innovation, economic activity, and cultural and civic engagement,” said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “The 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients have demonstrated great determination and dexterity in addressing critical needs of their communities. Their successes are exemplified in the stories of community members whose lives were profoundly changed for the better, thanks to the support of these institutions.”

These ten honorees exemplify the nation’s great libraries and museums and demonstrate significant impact and high quality of programs, services, and partnerships, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. They were selected from thirty finalists that were among institutions from across the country that were nominated for the honor.

video produced for IMLS by HISTORY that honors the winners was also shown at the ceremony. These ten honorees exemplify the nation’s great libraries and museums and demonstrate significant impact and high quality of programs, services, and partnerships, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. They were selected from thirty finalists that were among institutions from across the country that were nominated for the honor.

Later this year, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit the recipient institutions to document stories from the community. The next deadline for nominating a museum or library is October 1, 2015. Learn more about the National Medal at www.imls.gov/medals.

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’s123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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National Medal for Museum and Library Service