March 20, 2017


Contact: Giuliana Bullard, 202-653-4799

Thirty Museums and Libraries Named Finalists for 2017 National Medal Award

Public encouraged to share stories of institutions' excellence on IMLS Facebook page during March, April

WASHINGTON. D.C. – The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 30 finalists for the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 23 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families and communities.

“The 2017 National Medal Finalists represent the leading museums and libraries that serve as catalysts for change in their communities,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “It is our honor to recognize 30 notable institutions for their commitment to providing programs and services that improve the lives of individuals, families and communities. We salute them and their valuable work in providing educational opportunities to their community and celebrate the power libraries and museums can have across the country.”

IMLS is encouraging those who have visited finalist libraries and museums to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page as a way to further honor their work in their respective communities. To Share Your Story, please visit

The 2017 finalists of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:


  • Haines Borough Public Library (Haines, Alaska)
  • Long Beach Public Library (Long Beach, California)
  • Sacramento Public Library (Sacramento, California)
  • Cedar Rapids Public Library (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
  • Illinois Fire Service Institute Library (Champaign, Illinois)
  • Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (Evansville, Indiana)
  • Terrebonne Parish Library System (Houma, Louisiana)
  • Waterville Public Library (Waterville, Maine)
  • University of Minnesota Libraries (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Rochester Public Library (Rochester, Minnesota)
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • Tulsa City-County Library (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
  • James V. Brown Library (Williamsport, Pennsylvania)
  • Richland Library (Columbia, South Carolina)
  • George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Library, Montgomery County Memorial Library System (The Woodlands, Texas)


  • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (Alaska State Museums) (Juneau, Alaska)
  • Children's Museum Tucson (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Lawrence Hall of Science (Berkeley, California)
  • Pretend City Children’s Museum (Irvine, California)
  • Peralta Hacienda Historical Park (Oakland, California)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (San Diego, California)
  • Aspen Art Museum (Aspen, Colorado)
  • Orlando Science Center  (Orlando, Florida)
  • Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (Skokie, Illinois)
  • Detroit Zoological Society (Royal Oak , Michigan)
  • Mississippi Children's Museum (Jackson, Mississippi)
  • Discovery Place (Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • Children's Museum of Manhattan (New York, New York)
  • Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum (Wausau, Wisconsin)

The National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. The representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored in a ceremony.

To learn more about the 2017 National Medal finalists, visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 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 and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

National Medal for Museum and Library Service