May 1, 2018


Press Contacts
Giuliana Bullard, 202-653-4799,
Katie Haswell, 202-414-0799,

IMLS Selects Top 10 Museums, Libraries for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the 10 recipients of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 24 years, the award has celebrated 182 institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The award will be presented at an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., on May 24.

Selected from 29 national finalists, the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.

From a children’s museum in the Mile High City to a small public library in Texas, from a natural history museum in the Pacific Northwest to a Florida library system with a growing urban population, all are meeting the unique needs of their communities in innovative ways.

The 2018 National Medal recipients are:

  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus (Denver, CO)
  • The Detroit Historical Society (Detroit, MI)
  • El Paso Museum of Art (El Paso, TX)
  • Georgetown Public Library (Georgetown, TX)
  • History Museum at the Castle (Appleton, WI)
  • Orange County Library System (Orlando, FL)
  • Pueblo City-County Library District (Pueblo, CO)
  • Reading Public Library (Reading, PA)
  • Rochester Public Library (Rochester, MN)
  • University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History (Eugene, OR)

“It is a pleasure to recognize the 10 distinctive recipients of the National Medal of Museum and Library Service,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “Through their programs, services, and partnerships, these institutions exemplify the many ways that libraries and museums are positively transforming communities across the nation.”

Following the ceremony, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit each recipient and provide an opportunity for community members to share stories of how the institution has affected their lives. These stories are preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

The next deadline for nominating a museum or library for the 2019 National Medal is October 1, 2018. Learn more about the National Medal on the IMLS website.

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