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WASHINGTON (February 14, 2013) – The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 33 finalists for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. 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.

“Museums and libraries are gathering places that provide invaluable services to their visitors. This year’s finalists exemplify the positive impact these institutions make,” said Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “People of all ages seek out these institutions for opportunities to advance their education, to learn new skills for the 21st century, for cultural connections, and for civic engagement.  From an urban art museum to a small town local library, these finalists provide communities a safe space in which to learn, imagine, and dream.”

IMLS is encouraging those who have visited finalist libraries and museums to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page, Visit the IMLS Facebook page to learn more about how these institutions make an impact.

The 2013 finalists of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:


  • Bell Whittington Public Library (Portland, Texas)
  • California Digital Library, University of California (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Chesterfield County Public Library (Chesterfield County, Va.)
  • Cuyahoga County Public Library (Cuyahoga County, Ohio)
  • Hartford Public Library (Hartford, Conn.)
  • Jefferson County Public Library (Lakewood, Colo.)
  • King County Library System (Issaquah, Wash.)
  • Marshalltown Public Library (Marshalltown, Iowa)
  • Omaha Public Library (Omaha, Neb.)
  • Pierce County Library System (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Rancho Cucamonga Public Library (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)
  • Santa Ana Public Library (Santa Ana, Calif.)
  • Terrebonne Parish Library System (Houma, La.)
  • Waukegan Public Library (Waukegan, Ill.)
  • Williamsburg Regional Library (Williamsburg, Va.)


  • Amazement Square (Lynchburg, Va.)
  • Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Fort Worth, Texas)
  • Boston Children’s Museum (Boston, Mass.)
  • Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Delta Blues Museum (Clarksdale, Miss.)
  • Discovery Science Center (Santa Ana, Calif.)
  • Minnesota Children’s Museum (St. Paul, Minn.)
  • Museum of Discovery (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
  • New-York Historical Society (New York, N.Y.)
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Omaha Children’s Museum (Omaha, Neb.)
  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center (Virginia Beach, Va.)
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford, Conn.)
  • The Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (New Haven, Conn.)

In late April, IMLS will announce ten winners of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.  In addition to a $5,000 award, medal winners will participate in an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., and receive a visit from StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans.

To Share Your Story, please visit To learn more about the 2013 National Medal finalists, visit