At a White House
ceremony this afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama will present the 2013
National Medal for Museum and Library Service to The Public Library of Cincinnati
and Hamilton County and nine additional libraries and museums. She will join
Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Susan Hildreth in recognizing 10 exceptional institutions making important contributions to their
communities and implementing creative approaches to outreach and public
Obama will present the award to the directors and local community members of these institutions, highlighting the impact each facility has had on individual lives and community growth. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred upon libraries and museums for service to individuals, families and communities.
selected from an extensive list of nationwide nominations of libraries and
museums exceeding the average standards of community outreach.
This year, the 10 diverse institutions represent seven states and include outstanding facilities such as a Santa Ana, Calif., science center; a Boston, Mass., children’s museum; a Clarksdale, Miss.
Later this year, StoryCorps — a nonprofit committed to recording, sharing and celebrating a diverse array of American voices — will visit each of the winning institutions to collect information and personalized stories from individuals of the honored communities. The organization, founded in 2003, has pioneered such initiatives asthe Military Voices Initiative, the National Teachers Initiative, the September 11th Initiative and the Memory Loss Initiative, and continues to celebrate its National Day of Listening (NDL), which takes place the day after Thanksgiving as a noncommercial alternative to “Black Friday” shopping mania. Their upcoming focus on libraries and museums across the country could serve as a contender for the NDL theme this November.
With its 21,000 programs, workshops and classes, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County stands out among 140,000 libraries and museums across the United States. There is no word yet on what immediate effects this award will have on the local community, but a library spokesperson attributes the honor to its patrons and visitors, saying, “It’s because of your commitment to the Library that gives us the privilege of saying we’re one of the busiest and best library systems in the nation. This award belongs to all of us.”
The ceremony will be streamed live beginning at 1:30 p.m.
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