Delta Blues Museum representatives receive the medal from Mrs. Obama

Watch the 2013 Winners Highlight Video
Produced for the Institute of Museum and Library Services by HISTORY

Read the 2013 Brochure (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Learn more about IMLS and StoryCorps

Learn more about the National Medal at

Mrs. Obama presents the medal to Travis Calvin and Shelley Ritter from the Delta Blues Museum


On May 8, 2013, in a White House ceremony in the East Room, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Director Susan Hildreth to present the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to 10 museums and libraries from across the country. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

This year’s honorees exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include a science center, children’s museum, music museum, art museum, cultural museum, public libraries, and county library systems, from seven states. The 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients are:

Mrs. Obama presented the National Medal to the museum and library directors, as well as to community members from each of the winning institutions. The ceremony highlighted the ways the museums and libraries have positively impacted the community members’ lives. The arhiced live video footage of the ceremony is available at

"This year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients have achieved extraordinary success at reaching out and connecting with the communities they serve," said Susan Hildreth, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services. "This celebration was a wonderful way to honor the important role museums and libraries play across America. I am delighted that we can share the inspiring stories of these award-winning institutions and the value they bring their communities."

Medal winners are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. Later this year, StoryCorps – a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans – will visit each winning institution to document stories from their communities. To learn more about the 2013 National Medal winners, please visit

National Medal for Museum and Library Service