(Virginia Beach, VA) - The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced that the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is among 33 finalists for the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families and communities.
Medal finalists are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. This year’s finalists exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include conservatory and botanical gardens, county library systems, individual libraries, children’s museums, an art museum, science centers, and more, hailing from across the country.
“Museums and libraries serve as community gathering places and centers for lifelong learning, and we are very proud to announce the Virginia Aquarium as a finalist for the 2013 National Medal,” said Susan Hildreth, director of IMLS.
As part of the nomination process, the Virginia Aquarium cited its history in the community, the Aquarium’s broad influence in education, tourism, and research, as well as its economic impact to the City of Virginia Beach, and the state. “The key to building our reputation, and a foundation of the facility’s success has been our emphasis on community needs and expectations,” said Executive Director Lynn Clements. “Through an expansion of our educational programming, exhibits, and conservation division, the Aquarium continues to make great strides.”
The IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the Virginia Aquarium to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page, www.facebook.com/USIMLS, and to learn more about how these institutions make an impact. To learn more about the 2013 National Medal finalists, visit www.imls.gov/medals.
National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners will be announced this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C., and honored at the National Medal award ceremony. Winning institutions also receive a visit from StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs.
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