Oklahoma's number one blog for natural and cultural history.


SNOMNH Block Party - It’s Kind of a Big Deal

Last month, we announced that the Institute for Museums and Library Services named the Sam Noble Museum one of thirty National Medal finalists. For a quick refresher, check out our IMLS National Media Q&A. If we’re Facebook friends, then you’ve likely heard the big news – we have been officially chosen as one of ten winners! That means we are one of the five greatest museums in the country, out of 17,500. No big deal, but…


Ron Burgundy agrees, so it must be true.

Wait. It gets better. This morning at 10 a.m., museum director Michael Mares and former ExplorOlogy student Ernesto Vargas visited the White House – yes, the White House - to receive the National Medal from First Lady Michelle Obama on behalf of the museum. We broadcast the live stream of the ceremony on our website this morning, and there may have been a few teary eyes. Check out the photo below!

Starring: Ernesto Vargas, Michael Mares and First Lady Michelle Obama

As you can see, the National Media is a pretty big deal. Like, a huge deal – so huge, we’ve decided to throw the largest prehistoric party in the modern era! And, of course, you’re invited. Busy on June 1 from 1 to 5 p.m.? No? Good. Join us as we celebrate the amazing Oklahomans like you who made us the award-winning museum we are today.


We’re gonna’ party like it’s 3 million B.C.E.

On top of free admission, we’ve got cake, refreshments and great eats from your favorite food trucks. What more could you ask for? Wait, what’s that? Live music you say? Let’s not forget our amazing lineup of local melodies. Travis Linville, Tequila Songbirds, Sherree Chamberlain and Mike Hosty. These are the big leagues, folks. Could you possibly pack more talent onto a single stage? Hint: The answer is no.


 Such talent!

So bring your kids, neighbors, and friends – even your dog! Bring anyone and everyone. We’re the only institution in Oklahoma to receive this prestigious award, and we believe that’s something worth celebrating. There are just 24 days until June 1, and this party’s going to be cooler than the Ice Age. image

P.S. This is you outside the museum at our block party.

Will you join the celebration?

IMLS National Medal Q&A

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.