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N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences to receive national award from First Lady during White House ceremony May 8

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Museum to Receive 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from First Lady Michelle Obama in White House Ceremony May 8

National Award Recognizes Exceptional Contributions of North Carolina’s Most-Visited Museum

2014 Winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service

RALEIGH (April 24, 2014) — The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, N.C., is one of 10 recipients of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service. 

The National Medal, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community, has celebrated 20 years of institutions that make a difference for individuals, families and communities. The National Medal will be presented to Museum Director Emlyn Koster by First Lady Michelle Obama at a special ceremony at the White House on May 8.

The honorees exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums. They include a natural history museum, a children’s museum, a natural sciences museum, an aquarium, a botanic garden, public library systems and a book center from 10 states.

“Congratulations to the 2014 winners of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. From programs that foster passion for science, literature and cultural heritage, to critical 21st century skills training for improved educational outcomes and workforce readiness, the services and programs of these institutions truly do make a difference,” said Susan H. Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We thank each of this year’s medal recipients for their innovation and their dedication to serving their communities.”

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, part of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has chosen 15-year-old Molly Paul, a Junior Curator at the Museum, as its exemplar of the institution’s community value.

“Molly's remarkable achievements as a knowledgeable and eloquent voice for the natural world make her a great ambassador for what ultimately matters, locally and globally,” said Koster. “The museum is indeed fortunate to have Molly’s infectious appetite as a volunteer extraordinaire. I commend her family and school for providing a clearly successful setting of encouragement and support. We are very proud of her accomplishments. Today’s progressive science museums must embrace a collective approach. Molly and those like her are forces for good in the interdependence of humanity and nature.” Molly will travel to Washington and share the impact the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences has had on her life during the May 8 celebration.

The Museum will livestream (or rather "host a live broadcast of the") May 8 ceremony at 11 a.m. from the SECU Daily Planet Theater. The broadcast is free and open to the public.

Winners of the National Medal were selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. After the ceremony on May 8,  StoryCorps — a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans – will visit the Museum to document stories from the community.

For a complete list of 2014 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, please visit www.imls.gov/medals.

Celebrating 20 Years

This year, IMLS celebrates the 20th anniversary of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. For the past two decades, the National Medal has honored outstanding institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Including 2014 winners, 142 institutions have received this honor.

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 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. 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 http://www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 W. Jones St. and 121 W. Jones St.) in downtown Raleigh is the state's most visited cultural attraction. It is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world, drawing them into the intriguing fields of study that are critical to the future of North Carolina. Hours: Mon. - Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit the Museum on the Web at naturalsciences.org. Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director; John E. Skvarla III, Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Pat McCrory, Governor.

Publish Date: 
Thursday, April 24, 2014