Science Museum of Virginia Named Finalist for National Medal
Recognition is Nation’s Highest Honor Given to Museums and Libraries for Service to their Communities
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced yesterday that the Science Museum of Virginia is among the 29 finalists for the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. For 24 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service.
“The 29 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”
Since 1994, IMLS has recognized 182 organizations with the annual award for their work making a difference for individuals, families and communities. Members of the presidentially-appointed policy advisory board for IMLS recognize up to 30 medal finalists each year and typically select 10 institutions as winners.
The Museum, which was nominated by U.S. Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), is the only organization in Virginia recognized among the 2018 finalists. The organization was selected for its efforts to ensure an inclusive experience, and its commitment to creating relevant and meaningful ways for guests to interact.
“The Science Museum Virginia has been part of the fabric of our community for more than 40 years,” said Chief Wonder Officer Rich Conti. “To fulfill our mission of inspiring all Virginians, we recognize that we must remove barriers preventing people from having a quality experience where they can engage, play, learn and create lasting memories. From at-risk children in low-income families to guests with intellectual disabilities, the Museum is wholly invested in being a place of inspiration for the community it serves.”
IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the Museum to share a story about their experience on social media. On Thursday, April 12, guests are invited to take part in the national campaign by using the hashtags #ShareYourStory and #IMLSmedals to tell others about how the Museum provides a public service.
IMLS will honor the winning institutions at a ceremony on May 24 in Washington, D.C. After the ceremony, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit each organization so community members can share ways the institution has affected their lives. The audio messages are preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
The full list of 2018 finalists is available on the IMLS website.
About the Science Museum of Virginia
The mission of the Science Museum of Virginia is to inspire Virginians to enrich their lives through science. Through hundreds of experiential exhibits, awe-inspiring artifacts and interactive technologies, the Museum presents dynamic science programming to hundreds of thousands of guests each year. The Richmond-based museum is home to three floors of interactive exhibits, The Dome theater – the largest movie screen in Virginia – and proudly hosts dynamic traveling exhibitions from around the world. Learn more at www.smv.org.
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 approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. 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 www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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