Celebration Featuring First Lady Michelle Obama Honors Exceptional Contributions of 10 Museums and Libraries

WASHINGTON (May 8, 2013) – This afternoon, in a White House ceremony in the East Room, First Lady Michelle Obama will join 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:

  • Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, Mass.
  • Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio
  • Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Miss.
  • Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana, Calif.
  • Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, Iowa
  • National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.
  • Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
  • Waukegan Public Library, Waukegan, Ill.

Mrs. Obama will present the National Medal to the museum and library directors, as well as to community members from each of the winning institutions. The ceremony will spotlight the ways the museums and libraries have positively impacted the community members’ lives. It will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov/live beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

“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. “We’re looking forward to a wonderful celebration this afternoon 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 www.imls.gov/medals.

Editor’s Note: Photos from this afternoon’s ceremony are available upon request. Please contact Sara Neumann at sneumann@susandavis.com or (202) 414-0788.

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 123,000 libraries and 17,500 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 http://www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.