First Lady Michelle Obama Recognizes Outstanding Museums and Libraries at White House Ceremony

By on December 24, 2010
New Mexico’s Explora Among Those Honored

Washington, DC—First Lady Michelle Obama presented the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to five museums and five libraries at a White House ceremony today. The National Medal is the highest honor the nation confers on these institutions for their outstanding contribution to America’s communities. The awards are made annually by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to museums and libraries that have demonstrated a longterm commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships.

Mrs. Obama thanked and congratulated the award winners and said, “But while some of your work may be national in scope, ultimately your most powerful impact is local. Each of you is an integral part of your community. Each of you strives every day to meet the needs of the people who walk through your doors. And that’s particularly true in times of challenge and crisis, when many of you offer vital services, stepping up to be there for folks when they need you the most.” View Mrs. Obama’s full remarks.

IMLS Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel, said, “The winners are making a difference by asking the right questions and tailoring solutions to enrich the lives of their community members. We honor their contributions to delight, surprise, inform and educate.”

Winners of the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:
1. Conner Prairie Interactive History
Park, Fishers, IN
2. Explora, Albuquerque, NM
3. Japanese American National
Museum, Los Angeles, CA
4. Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson,
5. Nashville Public Library, Nashville,
6. The New York Botanical Garden,
New York, NY
7. Patchogue-Medford Library,
Patchogue, NY
8. Peter White Public Library,
Marquette, MI
9. Rangeview Library District and
Anythink Libraries, Adams County, CO
10. West Bloomfield Township Public
Library, West Bloomfield Township, MI

The History Channel, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and Hollinger/Metal Edge, Inc. Archival Storage Material, generously supported the National Medals celebration.

Representatives from the awardwinning museums and libraries attended the ceremony. Because the medal honors these institutions for outstanding service to their communities, each of the ten directors accepted the award along with a community member who had been personally affected by the museum or library. The winners will also receive a $10,000 award to continue the good work they are doing in their communities, and a visit from StoryCorps.

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. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit


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