First Lady Michelle Obama Presents National Medal to Exceptional Museums and Libraries at White House Ceremony
Recipients Recognized by IMLS for Outstanding Community Service
May 26, 2015
Among the ten 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients honored at the White House on May 18th, is the Craig Public Library located on the western edge of Prince of Wales Island.
Left to Right: Craig Library Director Amy K. Marshall and Colin Rice are presented 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Eleven-year-old Colin Rice is a homeschooled student on the remote Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. Colin spends much of his time at the Craig Public Library attending video conferences, reading books, and participating in gaming and coding events. Although the library is small, Colin enjoys a wealth of resources there and attends virtual classes with professors, historians, and experts in a variety of fields. When the Craig Library purchased a 3D printer last year, Colin helped build the machine and demonstrated how it works to the community.
Colin plans to continue exploring ways 3D printing can improve lives. Colin says, “I know this library has helped instill in my mind and heart what can be done to broaden not just my own horizons, but those of others. When I travel I will first look for the local library, always.”
“We are truly stunned and staggered by this honor,” said Director Amy K. Marshall. “It is a testament to the community’s enthusiastic engagement with the library and the opportunities it provides.”
When U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski first learned of the honor she said in a prepared statement, “I join everyone on Prince of Wales Island in congratulating the Craig Public Library for earning the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The work that the Library staff has done to empower Alaskan minds with resources for education, entertainment, inspiration, and employment has benefitted youth and adults alike for many years!”
The Craig Library was started in 1935 with the donation of 300 books. In 2015, the library will celebrate 80 years of service.
Colin Rice of Craig receives a hug from the First Lady after the award was presented.
“Our nation’s museums and libraries provide robust programs, services, and resources that fuel innovation, economic activity, and cultural and civic engagement,” said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “The 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients have demonstrated great determination and dexterity in addressing critical needs of their communities. Their successes are exemplified in the stories of community members whose lives were profoundly changed for the better, thanks to the support of these institutions.”
These ten honorees exemplify the nation’s great libraries and museums and demonstrate significant impact and high quality of programs, services, and partnerships, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. They were selected from thirty finalists that were among institutions from across the country that were nominated for the honor.
The 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients are:
A video produced for IMLS by HISTORY that honors the winners was also shown at the ceremony. These ten honorees exemplify the nation’s great libraries and museums and demonstrate significant impact and high quality of programs, services, and partnerships, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. They were selected from thirty finalists that were among institutions from across the country that were nominated for the honor.
Later this year, StoryCorps — a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans — will visit the recipient institutions to document stories from the community.
The next deadline for nominating a museum or library is October 1, 2015. Learn more about the National Medal at www.imls.gov/medals.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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