IMLS awards libraries National Medals

(Left to right) Cecil County Public Library Director Denise Davis, Cecil County Community Member Thomas Cousar and Michelle Obama with National Medal.

(Left to right) Cecil County Public Library Director Denise Davis, Cecil County Community Member Thomas Cousar and Michelle Obama with National Medal.

Earlier this week, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Acting Director Maura Marx to present the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to ten exemplary libraries and museums National Medals for their service to their communities. Now in its 21st year, the National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on libraries and museums, and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

National Medal recipients include:

(Left to right) Erica Jesonis, Chief Librarian for Information Technology; Morgan Miller, Assistant Director for Public Service; U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD); Denise Davis, Cecil County Public Library Director, Frazier Walker, Community Relations Specialist.

(Left to right) Erica Jesonis, Chief Librarian for Information Technology; Morgan Miller, Assistant Director for Public Service; U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD); Denise Davis, Cecil County Public Library Director, Frazier Walker, Community Relations Specialist.

During the event, First Lady Michelle Obama said to the recipients: “The services that you all provide are not luxuries. Just the opposite. Every day your institutions are keeping so many folks in this country from falling through the cracks. In many communities our libraries and museums are the places that help young people dream bigger and reach higher for their futures, the places that help new immigrants learn English and apply for citizenship…the places where folks can access a computer and send out a job application so they can get back to work and get back to the important process of supporting their families.”

Denise Davis, director of the Cecil County Public Library in Elkton, Md., spoke about receiving the prestigious recognition:

Public libraries have a powerful role in creating opportunities by keeping the doors to knowledge open, allowing creativity to flourish, and never letting barriers become insurmountable.

The next deadline for nominating a library or museum is October 1, 2015. Learn more about the National Medal at www.imls.gov/medals.

About Emily Sheketoff

Emily Sheketoff is the former Associate Executive Director of the American Library Association's Washington Office.

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