Oklahoma's number one blog for natural and cultural history.
Recently, we’ve been posting a lot about the Institute for Museum and Library Service’s (IMLS) 2014 National Medal award on our social media sites. Though if you’re not savvy to the museum or library scene, all of this news could easily become overwhelming. That’s why we’ve decided to do a little Q&A session to help our friends and fans understand what the National Media is and why we can’t stop talking about.
Q: What is the Institute for Museum and Library Service?
A: According to the IMLS website, “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.” Ultimately, this organization seeks to inspire educational institutions to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.
Q: So what’s an IMLS National Medal?
A: The National Media for Museum and Library Services honors outstanding institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Basically, this award is given each year to ten libraries and/or museums that have gone above and beyond the call of duty in terms of community outreach. For a few examples, check out the 2013 National Medal video below.
Q: How does it work?
A: Each year, hundreds of nominations from all across the country are submitted to IMLS. Only thirty finalists are chosen. We are so pleased to announce that the Sam Noble Museum was recently selected as a finalist for 2014, which is also the National Medal’s 20 anniversary! Isn’t that incredible?
Q: Why is winning so important?
A: The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for commending museum and libraries for their community service efforts. In fact, this award is so highly revered, last year the ten winners were recognized by first lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony in Washington D.C. Below is a glimpse of the ceremony.
Q: So where do I fit in?
A: Because the IMLS National Medal is founded on community outreach, we want to encourage all of our friends and fans to share their favorite experiences with our museum on the IMLS Facebook page. Without Oklahoma’s ongoing support, we would not be where we are today, and we hope that your stories will show the IMLS what a tremendous support system our great community is.
It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week and the prefect time to talk about those people in the museum that make such an impact on staff, visitors and the community: our volunteers.
Every year, the museum dedicates this week to honoring volunteers for the hours they dedicate to natural history, to servicing the community and providing personal knowledge, assistance and experience to our visitors and staff.
In 2011, 161 volunteers dedicated 16,291 hours to the museum through their work as docents, with children in the Discovery Room or with staff behind the scenes.