2015 Medal Winners - Listen Online

Gilbert and David Griego

Embudo Valley Public Library and Community Center

"In due time, you see a paradise of minerals..."

Gilbert Griego tells his son, David, about the Harding Pegmatite Mine near the village of Dixon in New Mexico's Embudo Valley. Gilbert’s uncle and father worked in the mine in the 1940’s and 50’s until it closed for good in 1958, at which point Gilbert’s father became caretaker of mine until his death in 1984. Gilbert is currently the mine’s caretaker - a job that includes leading tours of the mine. 

The extended Griego family utilizes a number of the library's services and supports its programming.

Length: 2:20. Read transcript (PDF)

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Lydia and Robert Breunig

Museum of Northern Arizona

"The first time I came out this way, when I was 13, I just knew this was going to be my place ... this was such an incredibly different world."
Robert Breunig, former Director of the Museum of Northern Arizona, talks with his daughter, Lydia, about their time together at the museum and the surrounding land and cultures, and how these things have affected their lives. Robert served as the Museum's Director from 2003 to 2015.

Length: 2:51. Read transcript (PDF)

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Thomas Cousar and Kathy Galbreath

Cecil County Public Library

"I'm only 5'9", felt like I was 6'2"! I had a whole lot of power!"

In 2011, U.S. Army Veteran Thomas Cousar was homeless, unemployed, and living in a tent in the woods. Thomas sat down with librarian Kathy Galbreath to talk about what inspired him to turn his life around after a visit to the Perryville branch of the Cecil County Public Library in 2012.

Using the computer skills he’d acquired through the library’s classes, Thomas found employment at the Perry Point VA Medical Center where he now serves as a Peer Support Specialist.  As part of his work today, Thomas helps other veterans complete the same computer skills and technology training courses at the Library that helped him. 

When CCPL accepted the National Medal at the White House, Thomas attended as CCPL’s community representative.

Length: 2:23. Read transcript (PDF)

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Deidre Burel (L) and Saundra Reed (R)

Louisiana Children's Museum

"There are walls, but there are not boundaries."

The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) is a 20-week program that bolsters parental involvement and enables parents to become advocates for children and communities, through practical advocacy instruction and hands-on community projects.

At the Louisiana Children's Museum in New Orleans, PLTI staff members and friends Deirdre Burel (L) and Saundra Reed (R) reflect on the unique value that the Museum offers as a host partner for the Institute, with a supportive environment full of creativity, play, and wonder.

We hear from Saundra first.

Length: 3:14. Read transcript (PDF)

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SylviaGalan-Garcia (R) and Lupie Leyva (L)

Los Angeles Public Library

"We have come a long way, there’s much more to be done."

Sylvia Galan-Garcia (R) and Lupie Leyva (L) talk about being Latina librarians and serving their communities in Los Angeles. Originally from East L.A., Sylvia was a Chicana activist. As a librarian, she emphasizes the importance of growing multilingual collections and catering to Spanish-speaking patrons in particular. We hear from Lupie first.

Length: 3:40. Read transcript (PDF)

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Tracey Baptiste (L) and Renée Watson (R)

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

"That happened. That moment I was very aware of my blackness and what it meant to be a smart black girl."

Young Adult authors Tracey Baptiste (L) and Renée Watson (R) --- who also teaches courses of writing for young people---talk about their childhood experiences and how it affected their racial identity and career paths. We hear first from Ms. Watson. 

Tracey Baptiste's debut novel, Angel’s Grace, was named one of the 100 best books for reading and sharing by NYC librarians. Renée Watson is the author of This Side of Home, which was nominated for the Best Fiction for Young Adults by the American Library Association.

Length: 3:51. Read transcript (PDF)

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Amanda Fortner (L) and Josh Poindexter (R)

Amazement Square

"I almost consider myself the 'dad' of the museum..."

Colleagues Josh Poindexter and Amanda Fortner talk about how they have been able to connect with the kids at the children's museum Amazement Square in Lynchburg, VA. Amanda remembers one young patron's attachment to the museum's "barn,” an interactive exhibit space designed for the youngest visitors to learn about life on a farm, modeled after Margaret Wise Brown’s book The Big Red Barn. 

Amanda serves as the museum's Director of Operations, and Josh, who started as a volunteer, is now on staff as a museum Floor Manager, and is fondly known as "Mr. Josh."

Length: 2:37. Read transcript (PDF)

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Rachelle Huddleston-Lorton (L) and Glenn Lorton (R)

Craig Public Library

"If there was one defining thing in Nonie’s life, it was family...” 

Library patron and volunteer, Rachelle Huddleston-Lorton, tells husband, Glenn Lorton, about her grandmother Marjorie Mitchell, the matriarch of her family and her biggest influence. Nonie, as she was called, died in 2011 at the age of 84.

Length: 3:51. Read transcript (PDF)

Myrna Tinoco (L) and Delia Meza (R)

New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)

"...turn off that TV, just have fun with your kids."

Queens resident Myrna Tinoco (L) tells Delia Meza (R), a youth educator at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), about why she became an NYSCI member, and how invaluable it's been for her kids, particularly for her son with autism.

Length: 2:39. Read transcript (PDF)

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Lauren Cage (L) and Mallika Yeleswarapu (R)

The Tech Museum of Innovation

"My dad took me to my first coding class when I was 10. I realized I was the only girl there, and I walked out..."

Sixteen year-old Mallika Yeleswarapu, an Intern at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA, talks to museum educator Lauren Cage about the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for girls and women and the need for more female role models in science. Mallika asks the first question.

Length: 2:51. Read transcript (PDF)

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